Petroleum Review Publishes East Africa Oil and Gas Article by LaMaster, Hammerson

Petroleum Review has published “Regulatory developments in East Africa,” an article by Akin Gump energy partners Marc Hammerson and John LaMaster on the “ways in which East African governments have adapted to the heightened commercial interest in regional oil and gas opportunities.”

The authors discuss the shift from mature oil reserves such as those of Angola, Nigeria and Libya to newer discoveries in East African countries such as Uganda and Kenya and potential significant natural gas fields in Tanzania and Mozambique, all within the geological structure known as the Great Rift Valley.

With these discoveries comes interest from oil companies, which can supply the international capital and expertise for exploration and production, both of which are necessary for countries with no previous experience with petroleum development.  As the authors note, however, “once discoveries are made governments often change the investment climate. We have seen this recently across East Africa in well publicised cases. This trend is likely to continue.”  They draw on examples from Mozambique and Uganda in which the governments tried to see benefit from deals structured by international energy companies to avoid national taxes.

These and other experiences, the authors believe, will cause “East African governments…to be less forgiving of both large and small companies that fail to comply with work programmes. There is no shortage of better financed and more technically competent companies willing to invest in East African opportunities—and companies that can demonstrate these qualities will be better placed to be successful in forthcoming licensing rounds.”

To read the full article, please click here.