Africa is tapping into more of its vast oil reserves, with various large upcoming crude oil fields across the continent soon to commence production.

This comes as good news as Africa fights to meet the rising energy demand that is growing along with the continent’s expanding population and threatens to overtake its power supply.

According to models by McKinsey & Company, energy demand in Africa could be roughly 30 percent higher in 2040 than it is now.

Africa an important oil producer

As an oil producer, Africa is responsible for a fair portion of global oil production – around 8% as of 2021, according to Statista.

Five of the world’s 30 largest oil-producing countries are in Africa as well.

With much of its oil reserves still untapped, though, the continent is yet to meet its full potential as a producer.

So, the upcoming crude oil fields in Africa are a definite step in the right direction and will aid in enhancing global oil output once they start operations, as well as boosting African economies.

Here are the 10 largest crude oil fields that will begin production soon.

Africa’s 10 biggest upcoming crude oil fields

This list is based on information from analytics company GlobalData’s Oil & Gas Upstream Fields Database.

1. The Tilenga Project – Uganda

Situated in Masindi, Uganda, Tilenga is in the construction stage at present and is planned to begin commercial production in 2025. The project’s final investment decision (FID) was approved just last year.

Jointly owned by TotalEnergies, China National Offshore Oil, and Uganda National Oil Co and operated by Total E&P Uganda, the project involves drilling around 426 wells. The entire development will cost an estimated total of $4,000 million.

Production is predicted to peak in 2026 at 0.19mmbpd of crude oil and condensate. The field is estimated to be productive until 2057 when it will reach its economic limit.

2. Bonga South West Aparo – Nigeria

Bonga is the first deep-water oilfield in Nigeria with a production capacity of 225,000 barrels of crude oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

The oil and gas field development is planned to begin production in 2026 after years of delays and a cost of $10 billion. Production is forecast to peak in 2027 at approximately 0.15mmbpd of crude oil and condensate.

The owners of Bonga are Exxon Mobil, Shell, Eni, ChevronLukoil Oil Co, and TotalEnergies, while the field operator will be Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Co.

It is estimated that the project will operate until 2059 when it will stop being economically productive.

3. Owowo West Upstream Project – Nigeria

2025 is pegged as the year that Owowo West, a conventional oil development in Nigeria, will start producing oil commercially.

In 2027, production at the field is predicted to peak approximately at the rate of 0.18mmbpd.

First discovered by Total in 2012, the deepwater field will be operated by Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria and is owned by Exxon Mobil, TotalEnergies, China National Offshore Oil, NNPC, and Chevron.

The field, which is located in 650 metres of water, will reach its economic limit in 2060, according to estimates from GlobalData.

4. Bonga North – Nigeria

Bonga North is a subsea tieback project that is expected to commence commercial oil production in 2025. It is estimated to peak in 2026 at the rough rate of 0.09mmbpd of crude oil and condensate.

The tendering process for the project began back in 2022, headed by Shell. Plans for the project include the designing, manufacturing, and supplying of subsea technology, the topsides modification of the long-standing Bonga FPSO (Floating Storage/Production), and the engineering, procurement, and construction of installation works, risers, umbilicals, and flowlines.

It is owned by TotalEnergies, Exxon MobilShell, and Eni and will be operated by Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Co.

The brownfield project is forecast to cease being economically viable in 2063.

5. Baleine – Cote d’Ivoire

Eni and Petroci are the owners of this crude oil field, which was discovered by Eni in 2021 – the first commercial discovery in West Africa since 2001.

It is expected that production at Baleine, which will be operated by Eni Cote d’Ivoire, will start this year in 2023, and peak in 2029 at 0.08mmbpd.

The offshore oil and gas development is located in Cote d’Ivoire’s Deep Tano sedimentary basin and stands at a water depth of 1,200m. The field contains light oil and holds approximately 2.5 billion barrels of oil as well as 3.3 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.

2054 is the year the project is expected to reach its economic limit.

6. Area 47 – Libya

This conventional, onshore oil field is situated in Nalut, Libya, and is still in the approval stages, but is expected to begin production in 2025.

It is predicted that Area 47 will reach peak production in 2027 at the approximate rate of 0.05mmbpd of crude oil and condensate.

Owned by Libyan Investment Authority, National Oil, and PT Medco Daya Abadi Lestari and operated by Nafusah Oil Operations, the field is forecast to be economically productive until 2079, according to GlobalData.

7. Cameia-Golfinho – Angola

Lying off Angola’s shores in the South Atlantic, Cameia-Golfinho is a crude oil field expected to start producing oil in 2026, with this forecast to peak in 2029 approximately at the rate of 0.07mmbpd.

TotalEnergies owns 80% and Sonangol EP 20% of the project, which will be operated by Total E&P Angola.

Key contractors on the project include River City Engineering and DORIS Engineering, Yinson Holdings, Loews, DeepBlue, ITO Marine, and Technip Energies.

The $6 billion project is predicted to reach economic capacity in 2059.

8. South Lokichar Development (Phase 1) – Kenya

Located in Turkana in northern Kenya, the South Lokichar crude oil field is expected to begin producing oil in 2026 until it reaches its economic limit in 2044.

Owned by Tullow Oil, Africa Oil, and TotalEnergies, with Tullow Kenya to be the operator, the conventional oil development is predicted to peak in 2027 at 0.12mmbpd of crude oil and condensate.

Coming to a total cost of $3.4 billion, the project will involve drilling around 321 wells and will be approved in 2024.

9. Pecan Field – Ghana

The upcoming crude oil development at Pecan is located offshore in the Gulf of Guinea in Ghana and is estimated to start production in 2025.

Production will peak in 2027 according to estimates, approximately at the rate of 0.08mmbpd. The development of the project is expected to be a major contributor to the growth of national oil production in Ghana

Pecan Field, owned by Ghana National Petroleum, Aker, TRG, Lukoil Oil, and Bulk Ship & Trade with Aker Energy Ghana to be the operator, is predicted to be in operation until 2050 when it reaches its economic limit.

10. Sangomar Phase 1 – Senegal

This conventional deepwater oil development in Senegal is expected to commence production this year. Production is predicted to peak in 2025, roughly at the rate of 0.1mmbpd of oil and condensate.

Sangomar Phase 1 lies at a depth of 3,870 feet underwater and is in the commissioning stage at present.

It is owned by Woodside Energy Group and Petrosen, with Woodside Energy Group being the majority owner (82%), while Woodside Energy Senegal will be operating the project.

Production is forecast to continue until 2049.

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