The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management Brad Crabtree recently attended Africa Oil Week, which has long been a focal point of DOE’s engagement with African countries.
For this year’s Africa Oil Week, Assistant Secretary Crabtree participated in two keynote sessions and led a workshop, where he outlined the importance of clean hydrogen and responsible oil and natural gas development in Africa’s clean energy future.
In addition, Assistant Secretary Crabtree was joined by DOE Deputy Secretary David Turk, who participated in Africa Oil Week’s sister event the Green Energy Africa Summit. They met with stakeholders, international delegates, and ministers to hear first-hand from African partners and discuss opportunities for further collaboration. In these conversations, they emphasized that DOE, and the Biden-Harris Administration, are eager to assist African governments and private sector partners with their efforts to tackle the urgent need to improve energy access and foster economic development and job creation in Africa while addressing the threat of climate change.
Learn more about Assistant Secretary Crabtree’s remarks below. And watch this video to hear his thoughts on the value of Africa Oil Week.
Africa Oil Week Plenary Keynote
During the “A Government’s Perspective: Facilitating Clean Hydrogen Development with Natural Gas and Carbon Management” keynote, Assistant Secretary Crabtree discussed how the development of clean hydrogen, coupled to carbon capture and storage, can be used to support Africa’s energy needs and global climate goals.
“As African countries build energy markets, infrastructure, and generation capacity to expand urgently needed energy access, hydrogen has the potential to help enable large-scale energy and industrial development on the continent in ways that are reliable, secure, and low and zero-carbon,” said Assistant Secretary Crabtree.
He noted that the versatility of hydrogen offers value across a wide range of economic sectors and provides a critical pathway to decarbonizing industries that are hard to abate, such as cement, steelmaking, agriculture, and transportation.
“In the near term, natural gas provides the lowest-cost pathway to developing a clean hydrogen economy, but only if carbon capture and storage is deployed in concert with production. Africa’s natural gas sector offers a platform on which to build an integrated clean hydrogen economy of production, transport, storage, and domestic energy, as well as industrial and transport end uses,” he said.
Assistant Secretary Crabtree added that identifying more opportunities to collaborate with U.S.-African governments and private sector partners to build a future clean hydrogen economy will be critical.
Read Assistant Secretary Crabtree’s plenary keynote remarks here.
Africa Oil Week Showcase Keynote
At the “USA: Promoting Energy Access and Security: The Role of Responsible & Sustainable Development of Natural Gas to Support African and Global Clean Energy Markets” keynote, Assistant Secretary Crabtree addressed how DOE is looking to expand engagement with Africa to respond to growing energy access, climate, and energy security concerns.
“We are at a historic moment as our respective countries seek to ensure energy access and security and to tackle the urgent threat of climate change,” said Assistant Secretary Crabtree.
He noted that responsible natural gas development can support sustainable economic growth and diversification in Africa by expanding energy access for domestic industries and local communities as well as export markets, but with low or no additional carbon and methane emissions.
“Internationally, we are looking for effective ways to expand our engagement with other countries to help foster carbon management in the production and use of oil and gas, including in Africa,” he added. “This kind of work is foundational for establishing an U.S. and African carbon management industry that can support the deep emissions reductions we need to achieve low and zero-carbon production.”
Read Assistant Secretary Crabtree’s showcase keynote remarks here.
Africa Oil Week Workshop
Assistant Secretary Crabtree also led the Africa Oil Week Workshop, “The Role of Responsible Natural Gas Development in Supporting Africa’s Clean Energy Future, Ensuring Energy Access and Fostering Global Energy Security.”
This workshop is a part of an ongoing engagement on sustainable natural gas development between the U.S. Department of Energy, the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, and U.S-African partners.
Topics of discussion included responsible oil and natural gas development to support emissions reductions, the emerging global market for responsible natural gas, and opportunities that would allow for long-term collaboration among community stakeholders, industry, and U.S.-African countries.
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