Oil veteran Algy Cluff strikes ‘optimistic’ after Africa deal

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Taking action: Cluff Energy Africa was awarded exploration licences for 15 offshore blocks in Sierra Leone


Algy Cluff remains ‘optimistic’ about future for oil as demand slumps to lowest levels for 25 years

Veteran oil prospector Algy Cluff is determined to remain ‘optimistic’ about the future for oil as demand slumps to its lowest levels for 25 years. 

‘Instead of bursting into tears, we’ve gone into action,’ said the 80-year-old, who has struck the first deal for the oil company he set up last year with City grandee Michael Spencer. 

Cluff Energy Africa, which focuses on the west of the continent, was last week awarded exploration licences for 15 offshore blocks in Sierra Leone, covering a combined 15,000 sq km. 

Taking action: Cluff Energy Africa was awarded exploration licences for 15 offshore blocks in Sierra Leone

Cluff said the next step will be seismic studies to confirm the size of the reserves, before seeking further investment to drill via a shallow water jack-up rig or a barge. ‘There are opportunities in Africa,’ Cluff said. 

‘The pandemic, and the collapse in the oil price, are unwelcome. ‘But as we move back into some sort of equilibrium, people and companies will need oil.’ 

Cluff owns 60 per cent of Cluff Energy Africa and Spencer, the billionaire founder of Nex Group, owns the remaining 40 per cent through his IPGL investment vehicle. 

Cluff said: ‘At the moment, the oil industry is in torment, but it will survive. ‘I entirely accept that we are in a transition to a green world – but for a lot of the countries we deal with in the developing world, their sole income is oil.’

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