As the world grapples with recent, seismic geopolitical events, and their impact on fuel security, Europe is starting to recognise the sheer scale of North Africa’s energy potential.
Two recent examples highlight the region’s viability as a longer-term energy supplier.
Firstly, towards the end of last year, Italy and Germany announced plans to develop a trans-continental hydrogen pipeline from Bavaria (in south-east Germany) to Tunisia. Tunisia has significant hydrogen potential and is currently aiming to increase hydrogen production to 8.3 million tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2050.
The proposal seeks to utilise pre-existing gas pipes from Bavaria to Tunisia and develop the infrastructure of the pipelines to ready them for the transportation of hydrogen.
The broader aim of the proposal is to ultimately develop a European hydrogen network that will help meet demand in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria and provide greater energy security in the continent.
Secondly, Egypt is looking to launch new international bids for oil and natural gas in the second half of 2024. With large oil and gas reserves in the country, potential for exploration in these areas is significant. In the bidding rounds planned for 2024, it is understood that the country expects these to relate to the onshore and offshore fields in the Gulf of Suez and the Eastern and Western Deserts.
These examples highlight the growing international awareness of – and action in relation to – energy potential in North Africa.
Indeed, Libya itself has seen significant international investment recently, most notably with the USD 8 billion deal signed with Italian energy giant Eni at the start of 2023 and the return of various international energy majors to Libyan projects after lifting their force majeures.
With some of the largest reserves of oil and gas globally, the country is a prime example of the untapped energy potential in North Africa. As nation states and energy majors search for new energy supply systems to strengthen energy security, the region is certain to see great increases in energy projects.
Our team at Eltumi Partners specialise in energy and infrastructure projects. We track developments in these sectors in order to provide commercial legal support to businesses operating in the sector. Follow our LinkedIn page for ongoing updates and insight.