African Petroleum Standards Carry Weight for U.S. Foreign Investors

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With Nigeria passing its long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in July and Equatorial Guinea announcing plans to revise its Hydrocarbon Law last week, Africa’s leading oil producers are overhauling their regulatory frameworks, with a view to facilitating investment into large-scale energy projects. As fallout from COVID-19 renders the regulatory landscape a decisive criterion against which investors measure their decisions, the harmonization of international petroleum standards in Africa has become a prerequisite for sustainable energy development.

In fact, regulations that are not harmonized with those of other global producers can be a major impediment to foreign direct investment. Nigeria’s PIB, for example, was estimated by the country’s Department of Petroleum Resources to incur $15 billion in lost investments per year before its adoption. As a result, African nations are working to integrate best standards within their laws and regulations that are broadly recognized in markets worldwide.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), for its part, serves as a critical partner in this process. As the largest U.S. trade association for the oil and natural gas industry, the organization represents nearly 600 corporations involved in production, refining, distribution and other segments along the petroleum industry value chain. API’s mission is to promote safety across the global industry and influence public policy in support of a robust U.S. oil and gas sector.

Leading the panel, “The Energy Investor Roundtable: Global Standards and Best Practices,” API has signed on as a sponsor of the upcoming U.S.-Africa Energy Forum 2021, a two-day event highlighting investment and partnership opportunities across the African energy value chain and repositioning the U.S. as the primary partner of choice, taking place in Houston, on December 9-10. Among other key objectives, the session will tackle how to create an enabling environment for future energy investment; anticipated merger and acquisition activity; the role of government commitments and private sector input in implementing best practices; and the impact of key legislation on mitigating perceived risk.

API has been active in promoting international petroleum standards and management systems across African petroleum markets, specifically building a three-year plan to harmonize standards in the West African region.

To learn more about U.S.-Africa energy investment opportunities, find out more information regarding sponsorship opportunities at USAEF 2021, or register for the Houston summit, visit or contact James Chester at james@

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Grace Goodrich

Grace Goodrich

Grace Goodrich is a Publications Editor at Energy Capital & Power, where she writes about the intersection of energy, policy and global finance in sub-Saharan Africa's fastest-growing economies. Grace produces our Africa Energy Series investment reports in Angola and Equatorial Guinea (2019), as well as co-authored African Energy Chamber: Road to Recovery (2021).

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