Economy Energy

Keith Hill’s Lasting Legacy in Africa’s Oil and Gas Industry (By NJ Ayuk)

By NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber (http://www.EnergyChamber.org)

 

Under the leadership of Keith Hill, Canada-based Africa Oil Corp. has become one of the most competitive and impactful independent oil and gas explorers operating in the African continent.

 

Within the last two years alone, Africa Oil Corp. announced a major discovery offshore Namibia with partner TotalEnergies and secured two production-sharing contracts for offshore Blocks EG-18 and EG-31 in Equatorial Guinea.

 

The company has campaigns in Nigeria, South Africa, and the Senegal Guinea Bissau Joint Development Zone as well.

 

By driving widespread exploration and production throughout our continent, Africa Oil Corp. has been opening the door for African countries to overcome energy poverty and maximize the value of their petroleum resources.

 

These are some of the reasons why in 2022, I said that both Africa Oil Corp. and Hill, the company’s president and CEO, were game changers. The African Energy Chamber was proud of the work the company was doing in Africa then, and we remain proud of it today, even as our window to work with Hill draws to a close.

 

Hill will be stepping down as the company’s president and CEO on Sept. 5, 2023.

 

He’s leaving with the appreciation and respect of the African Energy Chamber. Hill has been a strong believer in Africa and a just energy transition for our continent. He has repeatedly shown himself to be the right leader at the right time, both for his company and for Africa’s energy industry.

 

A Deal-Maker and Risk-Taker

 

Hill, who got his start in the oil industry more than 35 years ago, earned his bachelor’s degree in geophysics and a master’s in geology from Michigan State University. He also holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. But like every other wildcatter of his day, he learned the oil business the hard way — through deal-making and risk-taking.

 

A sustaining belief in the future of offshore exploration led Hill to the frontier of deepwater West Africa, including Equatorial Guinea, along with Namibia and South Africa in the southern region of the continent. Seating with him late night in Namibia over beer he shared some fun stories with me about Sudan and Africa. He tells you African energy stories with so much passion that you will feel he has a love affair with Duke’s mayonnaise and Afrobeats.

 

During difficult moments, Hill will never hide his imperfections. He has his and it seats on his front porch. He is a straight shooter and does not glory in the slow, musical cadence of small talk. He looked and me in the eye and made a promise and he kept it. He is still one of the few in the business that can do a deal with a handshake and it is respected.

Hill has been a strong believer in Africa and a just energy transition for our continent

 

During his career, he has led successful exploration, asset acquisitions, and production campaigns at Africa Oil Corp., Shell Oil, and Occidental Petroleum. He was behind successful exploration initiatives by BlackPearl Resources Inc., Valkyries Petroleum Corp., and Tyner Resources as well.

 

Hill also is the chairman of Canadian oil explorer and developer ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. Before joining Africa Oil Corp. in 2009, he was the CEO of Canada-based The Lundin Group, which comprises minerals, metals, renewables, and energy sector companies.

 

During Hill’s 14-plus years at the helm of Africa Oil Corp., the company has grown from a fledgling independent exploration company to a full-cycle upstream company.

 

Steady Growth, Significant Impact

 

In 2022, Africa Oil Corp. made global headlines as a result of its stake in TotalEnergies’ massive Venus prospect in the Orange Basin offshore Namibia. Venus is believed to hold billions of barrels of light oil and associated gas. TotalEnergies’ discovery was the largest of 2022, and Africa Oil Corp. was the only publicly listed independent E&P company with exposure to it, through a 30.9% shareholding in its investee company, Impact Oil and Gas, one of the project partners.

 

Africa Oil Corp. continues to seize the vast opportunities Namibia has to offer. Earlier this summer, the company signed a letter of intent with Azinam Limited, a subsidiary of Eco Atlantic, to acquire a 6.25% stake in Block 3B/4B in the Orange Basin, increasing Africa Oil Corp.’s total stake in the block to 26.25%. With the block’s proximity and similar geographical structure to the Venus, Graff, La Rona, and Jonker discoveries in the basin, it’s a logical move.

 

At the same time, Africa Oil Corp. is successfully operating producing assets in deep water offshore Nigeria, where the company has a debt-free balance sheet and a robust portfolio of production and development assets.

 

As recently as May, Africa Oil Corp. announced that partner Total Energies was renewing Oil Mining License 130 in Nigeria. Africa Oil has an 8% interest in the license through its 50% shareholding in Prime Oil & Gas.

 

“The renewal of OML 130 is very good news for the Company and its shareholders,” Hill said at the time. He noted that the license “includes attractive growth opportunities such as the undeveloped Preowei oil discovery, which we can now take forward towards a final investment decision. Additional opportunities include step-out exploration and appraisal drilling, that should support production rates over the coming years.”

 

For many, Africa Oil Corp. represents a new era in the continent’s oil and gas industry, one with an increasingly important role for independents that recognize the tremendous opportunities our continent’s vast oil and gas resources offer. With international oil and gas majors divesting their African interests — often in attempts to decrease their overall emissions — independents have been stepping up to fill the gap.

 

More to Say About Africa

 

Hill, who will be joining Africa Oil Corp.’s board as a director, will continue to make a positive impact on Africa after he steps down from his current position. Keith is not leaving the scene. It is not in his character. I expect him to continue discussions and advocacy about investing in African energy and making energy poverty history. He will champion issues that are important African energy industry stakeholders  and we will continue to value Hill’s experience, perspectives, and advice. Even as Hill moves on to another chapter, we don’t expect that to change.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Business Economy Finance Fintech

Fintechs should develop products that address the exact needs of their customers (By Mike Cook)

post-image

All around the world businesses are pulling out the stops to achieve growth in what can best be described as challenging economic conditions. Africa is no exception. The continent has long been recognised for its immense potential, and as such businesses across sectors are investing heavily into the continent. Advancements in technology make serving the unbanked and underserved populations in Africa more viable than ever before. However, that does not mean growth comes easily. It is a hyper competitive and complex environment where genuinely understanding your customer is key to growth.

Even with this textbook understanding, there is a strong urge to take the “build it and they will come” approach because we can get caught up in our own technology and view problems from our frame of reference while ignoring the customer. This is typified in the African market where we see multiple shiny apps being dropped across markets…

Read More
Business Technology Technology Trends

Canon’s SELPHY series of compact photo printers celebrates 20th anniversary

post-image

Canon Inc. (www.Canon-CNA.com) announced today that its SELPHY series of compact photo printers, which enables users to easily print high-quality photos and continues to offer a wide range of ways to enjoy photo printing, will celebrate its 20th  anniversary in 2024.

The SELPHY series was created in 2004 in response to heightened demand for photo prints due to the rapid spread of digital cameras in the early 2000s. As of April 2024, the SELPHY series has launched 31 products1 and sold a combined total of more than 17 million units2 worldwide.

The name SELPHY, a combination of “self” and “photography,” was given to convey Canon’s hope that easily printing photos on one’s own would allow people to experience new ways of enjoying photography. SELPHY printers produce photo prints that possess both high-quality and excellent durability through the adoption of a dye sublimation printing process, in which ink…

Read More
Business Economy

NASENI, NIPSS To Collaborate On Enhancing Digital Economy, Job Creation* 

post-image
The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State are set to collaborate on enhancing Nigeria’s digital economy footprints, empowering and creating jobs for millions of youths.
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO),  NASENI, Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu, disclosed this while welcoming participants of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 46 of NIPSS who were at the Agency on Strategic Institution Study tour on Monday, 15th April, 2024.
Halilu said he was elated that NASENI was identified as one of the federal government’s agencies that have all it takes to empower and create job opportunities for Nigerian youths, and make the country self-reliant in
manufacturing and digital economy.
Halilu said strengthening the capacity of key stakeholders in Nigeria to access, adopt and scale up technologies is an…

Read More
Business Education

Nugi Technologies CEO, Austin Ugi, Champions Education Access Across Nigeria and Beyond

post-image

 

Austin Ugi, CEO of Nugi Technologies, asserts that education is the beacon of hope that can illuminate the future of our continent. As a corporate responsibility, Nugi Technologies remains committed to extending educational opportunities to children nationwide.

“I am passionate about ensuring every out-of-school child can return to the classroom,” expressed Austin Ugi. “Last month, with the incredible support of my tight-knit community, we made it possible for 383 children to continue their education.”

Ugi emphasized that this endeavor is only the beginning, with plans to sustain these programs year-round. Collaborating with Artycare Initiative and Happy Feet For Kidz Foundation, they have already impacted over 10,000 schoolchildren by providing essential resources such as footwear, uniforms, textbooks, and covering school fees.May be an image of 1 person and beard

The driving force behind Ugi’s mission is personal. Recalling the challenges he faced…

Read More
Business Economy News Opinion Software

UGI AUGUSTINE REFLECTS ON THE IMPACT OF NUGITECH’S GROWTH JOURNEY

post-image

 

UGI AUGUSTINE, CEO of NUGITECH, a pioneering IT firm originating from Cross River and known for its widespread deployment of innovative solutions nationally and internationally, has shared insights into the company’s transformative journey.

Recalling the remarkable progress NUGITECH has achieved over the years, UGI AUGUSTINE emphasized the significance of continuous growth and learning. “Success isn’t merely measured by our accomplishments, but by our capacity to evolve, learn, and navigate towards our future goals,” remarked AUGUSTINE.

AUGUSTINE further highlighted the pivotal role of teamwork in NUGITECH’s success trajectory. “In our pursuit of excellence, collaboration has been paramount. Sustainable success necessitates the amalgamation of diverse talents, humble leadership, and a culture of mutual learning,” he noted.

Concluding on a note of gratitude, AUGUSTINE credited the unwavering dedication of NUGITECH’s team for the company’s expansion from a singular entity to a conglomerate overseeing multiple ventures. “Our team’s relentless…

Read More
Business Economy Energy

Introducing the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Pro & DELTA 2 Max: The Ultimate Energy Partners to Power Through Loadshedding

post-image

EcoFlow (https://apo-opa.co/3Q0P8ln), a leading eco-friendly energy solutions company, today launched the RIVER 2 Pro and DELTA 2 Max in South Africa. Featuring an upgraded capacity and faster charging, the RIVER 2 Pro is the best portable power station within stage 6 loadshedding. DELTA 2 Max has a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) transfer time of 20ms and a capacity of 2048Wh, making it an ideal power ally for whole-home comfort.

“As loadshedding continues to grow, the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Pro and DELTA 2 Max ensure our consumers have access to a simple, flexible and reliable energy source wherever and whenever they should need it,” said Bradley Chetty, B2C Sales Director at EcoFlow South Africa. “We are proud to bring more lifestyle solutions to the market. EcoFlow is committed to making life better through meaningful innovation.”

RIVER 2 Pro, the Best Portable Power Station within Stage 6 Loadshedding

Charge Faster and…

Read More
Business Culture Economy Tourism Travels

AFRICANS SHOULD PRIORITIZE SUPPORTING INDIGENOUS ENTERPRISES

post-image

 

From childhood, we’ve been ingrained with the belief that foreign-made goods and businesses outshine our own in Africa. Consequently, “Made in Ghana” labels are rare, as even Ghanaian businesses opt for branding their products as “Made in China” or “Made in US”.

But how can our economies flourish if we neglect our own creations? Take the example of Air Peace, shaking up the Lagos-London market with competitive pricing, compelling giants like British Airways to slash fares.

Now is the time for Nigerians to rally behind Air Peace and shun foreign airlines that overcharge us. Consider the countless Nigerians flying from Lagos or Abuja to London daily—imagine the revenue they generate for foreign carriers. The same applies in Ghana; let’s envision…

Read More
Business Government International

AirPeace Faces Challenges in Competitive Lagos – London Route

post-image

 

In the bustling international air travel scene out of Nigeria, Flyairpeace, the latest entrant into the Lagos – London route, finds itself in the midst of stiff competition. This route, known for its high traffic volume, has attracted the attention of major players, unwilling to yield market share to the newcomer, especially amidst concerns over shark-infested waters.

The ongoing price war initiated by established international airlines is expected to persist, posing significant challenges for Airpeace. While the airline may lack the financial muscle to sustain such a battle, experts caution against engaging in a futile contest where victory seems improbable.

Instead, Airpeace is urged to capitalize on its unique strengths, such as offering exceptional in-flight cuisines, minimizing flight delays, providing superior customer service, facilitating hotel-to-airport transfers, and implementing localized frequent flyer promotions. These strategies could help endear the airline to Nigerian travelers along this route.

Furthermore, there are calls for government intervention…

Read More