The U.S. Government and the American public need access to information on energy resources in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa (mostly Nigeria) produces 5 percent of the world's oil, while supplying the United States with 15 percent of our imports (Energy Information Administration). In the next 10 years, sub-Saharan oil and gas will become increasingly more important to the export market. New discoveries in offshore provinces of West Africa ensure a bright future for the region. Projections indicate that increased oil production in sub-Saharan Africa will far outpace the growth of intraregional consumption, providing greater quantities of oil for export (Forman, 1996). Also, West Africa, although a marginal supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) today, will become an important LNG source to the international market by the year 2000 (Oil & Gas Journal, 1996). The United States needs up-to-date information about petroleum resources and the energy balance within the region to predict the future role of sub-Saharan Africa as a major oil and gas exporter. The data required to generate the needed information are often disseminated in archives of oil companies and African geologic surveys, or in obscure publications. For these reasons, the U.S. Geological Survey is collecting data on sub-Saharan energy and constructing a regional energy bibliography. The team of geoscientists will assure that this information is available quickly and from a scientifically based, objective view point.