Global Energy Monitor

Cape Town, South Africa – Nearly all of the new gas reserves slated for development across Africa are located in countries that have historically not extracted fossil fuels, a trend that runs counter to the scientific consensus calling for an end to fossil infrastructure, finds new research from Global Energy Monitor.

The Global Oil and Gas Extraction Tracker includes data on 421 extraction projects, with 79 new fields in pre-production phases possessing more than 5,140 billion cubic meters (bcm) of reserves. While historically Nigeria, Egypt, Libya and Algeria have had the most proven gas reserves and production, tracker data show that 84 percent of new reserves in-development are located in recent entrants to Africa’s gas market— Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania, Mauritania, South Africa, Ethiopia and Morocco. 

If brought online, these gas developments would run counter to warnings from the International Energy Agency and others that any hope of limiting planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires that no new fossil fuels infrastructure is built. 

Most of these gas field developments are destined for export, doing little to address low electrification rates across the continent, while also exposing Africa’s energy mix to the volatility of gas markets. GEM data estimates the total capital expenditure for in-development LNG terminals to be US$103 billion, 92 percent of which is for export terminals.

Building new gas extraction infrastructure is a no-win situation for African countries. Very little gas will stay at home, failing to address growing domestic energy demand.

Christine Juta, Project Manager for the Africa Gas Tracker


Christine Juta, Project Manager, Africa Gas Tracker, [email protected]