Extractive Trends in Africa with Boris Ivanov and GPB Global Resources B.V.

Boris Ivanov and GPB Global Resources B.V.
Extractive Trends in Africa with Boris Ivanov and GPB Global Resources B.V.

GPB Global Resources B.V. is an international company engaged in oil exploration and production projects. Following a company-wide restructuring in 2011, GPB Global Resources B.V was formed with Mr. Boris Ivanov as Founder and Managing Director. The firm is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and has had significant success in developing oil production opportunities in South American and Africa.

Legal and Regulatory Environment

GPB Global Resources B.V. is an international company engaged in oil exploration and production projects.
GPB Global Resources B.V. is an international company engaged in oil exploration and production projects.

Africa consists of 54 countries, with each presenting a unique legal environment relating to the natural-resources industry. Whilst Ethiopia has a legal framework based on international best practices, countries like Mozambique, having only recently discovered natural gas do not yet have a standardized legal structure or national legislation regarding resource extraction.

Cote D’Ivoire recently introduced new laws to strengthen and increase investment in the extractive sector, whereas Namibia and South Africa, have well-established extraction laws which make it easier to reach a petroleum production-sharing agreement with the government.

However, for any exploration project there is always likely to be local, regional, and common law customs that impact a firm’s license to operate. These differences in each nation’s legal and regulatory framework make for a challenging environment, but for GPB Global Resources B.V this has been one which it has ultimately been successful in navigating with the leadership of its former-diplomat founder, Boris Ivanov.

Industry Challenges

Outside regulatory and legal hurdles, there are numerous physical challenges for natural resources companies in doing business in Africa. These include the fact that resources are often discovered in remote locations, there can be poor or nonexistent infrastructure to aid extraction and often the political climate can be turbulent.

A lack of infrastructure can create safety and security issues for both companies and local communities and so successful government partners in the extractive industry typically finance and develop infrastructure in the areas where it is needed the most. For GPB Global Resources B.V. this can include building roads, power plants, water systems, and community enrichment projects such as schools and health centers.

Disruption & Innovation

One of the biggest disruptive trends for the oil industry is the increasing use of renewable energy sources. Major economies are likely to use oil and gas as an energy source for at least another half-century; however, the overall trend is reduced consumption through oil-substitution efforts. New ways to improve efficiencies and sustainability in the sector are still emerging, such as improved software for more accurate geological modeling, new surveying methods, and better safety and inspection techniques. Communications are also faster and more agile with modern devices and the increased deployment of industrial drones.

GPB Global Resource B.V.’s founder Boris Ivanov has reiterated the impact of this trend, both on oil prices and on long-term investment plans. Mr. Ivanov advocates that in this climate extractive companies must put greater emphasis on R&D and investments in technology, both to adapt to a new environment and to attract the best talent. He has drawn attention to the fact that with more funds placing an emphasis on energy sources that are not fossil fuels, it is up to oil companies to stay at the forefront of technology to remain successful.

Mutual Benefit and Cooperation

Accurate and timely information is critical for the leader of any international business and in the oil industry, the biggest risks to international business can be in local conflicts and national disputes that undermine global supply chains and disrupt markets.

Boris Ivanov has stated that for GPB Global Resources, maintaining information flow and creating mutual benefit is the strongest basis for cooperation with local partners. He argues that it is important to understand how a business fits into the local landscape to avoid being caught off guard by major market changes – a risk made so pertinent by events like the ongoing trade war between China and the United States and the recent attacks on oil infrastructure and shipping in the Persian Gulf.

GPB Global Resources B.V. employs industry experts with decades of practical experience and is also especially open to technological disruption to ensure that the firm maintains its competitive advantage. Trends such as artificial intelligence could revolutionize the oil and gas industry, but at its core, the oil industry is a relationship business; and Boris Ivanov reiterates that companies that are mindful of the impact of their actions on their stakeholders and are cognizant of how their operating environment is likely to be impacted by global political, regulatory, technological and social trends are likely to remain at the forefront of its development.