US may shift oil exploration attention to West Africa

Jul 10, 2002 02:00 AM

The United States of America may shift attention from oil exploration in the Middle East to West Africa, if on-going research by a non-commercial organization yields fruit. The organization known as African Oil Policy Initiative Group (ADPIG) is poised to develop a new American oil policy with Africa, particularly the West African sub-region where large deposits of oil and gas abound.
The development came on the heels of the Middle East crisis where America is seen as taking sides with Israel, resulting in strong condemnation from the Arab World. Already, a proposal has been forwarded to Nigeria by America for the establishment of a Gulf of Guinea Commission, comprising of oil producing West African States.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar who received a delegation of the African Oil Policy Initiative Group (ADPIG) at the State House, said the proposal for the Gulf of Guinea Commission was strategic to global economy and energy security. He said in view of the present global uncertainty in the oil and gas market, the proposed commission was a welcome development, saying it would serve as a basic linkage between West Africa and America as well as the International Community.
"When the Commission comes on stream, it would foster understanding and guarantee regional and global security", he said. He then tasked the organization to work in close partnership with Nigeria towards ensuring the realization of the Commission.

Leader of the Group, Dr. Paul Michael Winbey disclosed that the US government had designed the Gulf of Guinea region as an area of interest, adding that the issue of debt relief would be linked to regional cooperation.
Dr. Paul Michael said Africa had been identified as one of the fastest growing sources of oil and gas for American consumption, saying Nigeria and the rest of Africa are strategically located, and much endowed to play a critical role in both global trade and security. He said Africa and America have much to offer each other especially in global energy security.

Source: Daily Trust
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