Investors discuss oil exploration in East Africa

By James Shimanyula, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The three-day conference is being attended by hundreds of participants from various parts of the world

The three-day conference is being attended by hundreds of participants from various parts of the world

NAIROBI – Senior government officials, top executives and investors from nearly sixty international companies are meeting in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to discuss energy, particularly oil exploration, in the East Africa region.

"East Africa is an important and exciting new emerging market for oil exploration," Duncan Clarke, the chairman of the Global Pacific and Partners Company, a leading advisory firm and the conference organizer, told Anadolu Agency.

The three-day conference, which wraps up on Wednesday, is being attended by hundreds of participants from various parts of the world.

Keith Martin, who represents Repsol, a Spanish oil company, said international companies currently have their eyes on the region.

"Kenya has now established itself as a place with successful wells," he told AA.

Martin noted that neighboring Tanzania has also established very significant gas reserves.

"So this part of the world is now viewed slightly differently than it was five years ago," he added.

Frank Kamthunzi, who represents Malawi in the conference, said foreign companies are currently exploring for oil in his country.

"We believe that once the exploration is completed and the actual drilling and usage of oil starts definitely there will be benefits for the people of Malawi," he told AA.

Kamthunzi said the government will scrutinize all investors to ensure they will help develop the country for the benefit of the people of Malawi.

"The government will ensure that before the drilling of oil starts there is adequate environmental [assessments] that have been done and are done to the satisfactory of the government and the people of Malawi," he added.

Over the years, the issues of environment protection in areas where oil is drilled have been of major concern.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency