Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Mohamed Hamel, affirmed the need for gas-focused investments in exploration, development and infrastructure during his virtual keynote address at the Angola Oil&Gas 2023 Conference&Exhibition ( on Thursday.

While natural gas has historically taken a back seat to crude oil in Angola, the southern African country is in the midst of launching a series of large-scale gas exploration and monetization projects that leverage key gas demand drivers – namely, the energy transition, gas-to-power and a pressing need for diversification.

“Angola is ushering in a new era of energy prosperity. Within the GECF, Angola collaborates with 18 other member countries, championing natural gas as an abundant, affordable, clean and reliable energy source and as the fuel of choice to satisfy the world’s growing energy needs. I hope that Angola will upgrade its membership from observer to full member,” stated Hamel.

The African continent is home to substantial volumes of gas, estimated at approximately 620 trillion cubic feet, which has been positioned as a transition fuel and cleaner alternative to other fossil fuels. According to the GECF Global Gas Outlook, Africa’s share in the global gas market will increase to over 11% of all gas supplies by 2050, with production expected to reach 585 billion cubic meters in the same period.

“Global primary energy demand will increase by 22% by 2050. This raises the key question of the right balance between the need for economic growth, the legitimate cost of social progress and the necessity of protecting the environment. Each solution for each nation will be unique. Natural gas, however, has consistently emerged as a common denominator,” Hamel added.

“This necessitates substantial investment in exploration, development, infrastructure and human capacity. The notion that natural gas investment is incongruent with climate change is misguided. African nations should not be penalized for leveraging their natural resources. We urge international institutions to champion natural gas development in Africa. We will continue advocating for this at the upcoming COP28.” 

The GECF serves as an intergovernmental organization comprising 11 member countries and eight observers. Together, member nations control over 70% of the world’s natural gas proven reserves and 44% of its marketed production. The Forum provides a framework for exchanging experiences and information in the gas sector, with a view to maintaining coordination and unity.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital&Power.