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Africa

Penspen launches West African feasibility study

Engineering services firm Penspen is set to launch a feasibility study on extending a key pipeline in partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas). Penspen and Ecowas signed a contract in February 2015 to enable a formal start to the feasibility study examining the current West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) system performance and its possible future network extension to other Ecowas states.

Africa

Amplats offers to help investors set up fuel-cell manufacturing in South Africa

15/06/2015

Anglo American Platinum Ltd. is offering to help investors set up South African production of hydrogen fuel cell-based products, which use the precious metal as a catalyst to generate electricity, as a way to encourage demand. Amplats, as the Johannesburg-based unit of Anglo American Plc is known, is among producers that see fuel cells consuming as many as 600,000 ounces of platinum a year by 2025. Fuel cells can be used to bring power to areas where supply is constrained. Platinum prices are down more than 40 percent since August 2011.

Africa

Islamic State expands near Libya’s largest oil terminal

10/06/2015

Islamic State strengthened its hold in central Libya, taking territory near Libya’s largest oil terminal and repelling efforts by militias to halt its advance. The jihadist group had been tightening its grip on Sirte over recent months. It claimed on Tuesday to have finally succeeded in taking Muammar Qaddafi’s hometown, after overrunning a nearby power station. Islamic State already controls the desert town of Naufaliya, about 30 miles from Libya’s largest export terminal of Es Sider and neighboring Ras Lanuf, the third-largest. Controlling Sirte helps cement those positions on the west side of the so-called Sirte Basin, which is home to about 70 percent of the country’s crude reserves.

Africa

Nigeria could boost oil output with changed funding, Seplat says

08/06/2015

Nigeria can boost its oil and gas production by changing the way capital investments are funded in its joint ventures with energy companies, according to Seplat Petroleum Development Co. State-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., or NNPC, holds an average 55 percent stake in five joint ventures with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., Total SA and Eni SpA that pump more than 80 percent of the country’s crude. It pays the same share of capital contributions for the operation of the oil ventures. Seplat, a Nigerian producer now running a joint venture with NNPC after buying assets sold by Shell, wants the current funding arrangement in Africa’s biggest oil producer scrapped in favor of a method less dependent on the government.

Africa

South Sudan fighting escalates in oil states before peace talks

08/06/2015

Fighting between rebels and government forces in South Sudan’s oil-producing states intensified, the army said before the two sides meet on Monday for peace talks. Rebels attacked non-producing oil fields north of the Unity state capital, Bentiu, on Friday and were repulsed, army spokesman Colonel Philip Aguer said by phone from the capital, Juba. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army is “in full control of Unity oilfields and has captured a number of equipment including tanks and ammunitions,” Aguer said.

Africa

Worker kidnapped in Libya

02/06/2015

A manager in working for Libya's Mellitah has been kidnapped, according to reports. The staff member, working for the consortium, which is owned by state oil firm NOC and Italy's ENI, was taken earlier this week. Mellitah operates a complex in Libya which exports oil and gas as well as the Wafa and El Feel oilfields.

Africa

Buhari takes over as Nigeria leader

29/05/2015

He takes over a nation in crisis, with an Islamic uprising that has made 1.5 million people homeless and coffers emptied by massive corruption. Similar crises confronted him when he ruled briefly as a military dictator in the 1980s. The 72-year-old says a similar prescription more judiciously imposed by a “born-again democrat” can heal the woes of Africa’s biggest nation, economy and oil producer.

Africa

Somalia may pay 90% oil revenue to explorer under draft deal

29/05/2015

Soma Oil & Gas Holdings Ltd., chaired by former U.K. Conservative Party leader Michael Howard, has proposed a deal with the Somali government that may grant it as much as 90 percent of the country’s prospective oil revenue. A draft production-sharing agreement, obtained by Bloomberg from an official close to the negotiations, sets the state’s share of revenue on the first 25,000 barrels per day at 10 percent if found at a depth of greater than 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) and when oil costs less than $70 a barrel. If output exceeds 150,000 barrels, Somalia’s take rises to 30 percent. Crude for delivery in June fell 0.4 percent to $57.30 a barrel at 4:45 p.m. in London on Thursday.

Africa

PetroSA suspends top three execs

28/05/2015

PetroSA has suspended its top three executives amidst declining revenues. According to reports, South Africa's state oil company has also made the move as a result of poor investments and a failed bid to enter the fuel retail market.

Africa

Oil crunch, Islamist war, power cuts face Nigeria’s new leader

28/05/2015

Crippling fuel shortages, power cuts, slowing economic growth and Islamist militants wreaking havoc. Muhammadu Buhari is taking on a tough job when he’s sworn in as Nigeria’s president on Friday. Former military ruler Buhari, 72, swept incumbent Goodluck Jonathan from office in March elections by pledging to end endemic corruption and Boko Haram’s rebellion in the north. His stewardship of Africa’s biggest oil producer, this time as elected president, may depend on the price of crude, which supplies the government with more than two-thirds of its income.

Africa

Gunmen try to kill Libyan prime minister

27/05/2015

Gunmen have tried to assassinate Libya’s internationally recognised prime minister on his way to the airport in the eastern city of Tobruk, a spokesman for his government said. Abdullah al-Thinni’s motorcade was attacked and one of his guards was lightly wounded but there were no fatalities, according to Arish Said, head of the government’s media department. “They managed to escape,” he added.

Africa

South Sudan oil field becomes battleground as economy reels

26/05/2015

After 17 months of civil war spanning a swathe of South Sudan bigger than Syria, President Salva Kiir’s survival may hinge on the fate of a single oil field. Paloch in Upper Nile state, the only region still pumping crude in a nation with sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest reserves, has re-emerged as the rebels’ prime target. While the insurgents probably couldn’t find a market for its oil, the facilities’ capture or damage could spell disaster for a government that’s battling surging inflation and a slumping currency, and which depends on crude for about 90 percent of its income, according to analysts including Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School in Massachusetts.

Africa

Nigerian stocks retreat fifth day as fuel crisis hits companies

25/05/2015

Nigerian stocks retreated for a fifth day, with the declines seen continuing as Africa’s biggest oil producer faces a fuel shortage that’s crippling the economy and causing companies to cut back operations. Shares in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Nigeria’s biggest lender by market value, dropped as it closed branches early on Monday amid a shortage of diesel for generators. Dangote Flour Mills Plc’s stock fell to the lowest in almost two months as it was forced to rely on “highly erratic” electricity from the national grid to run its plants without fuel for generators, according to African Alliance Securities Ltd.

Africa

Libya airstrike sets oil tanker ablaze amid political strife

25/05/2015

Warplanes deployed by Libya’s internationally recognized government bombed an oil tanker at a terminal controlled by the nation’s rival Islamist leaders, killing one person, the regional coastguard commander said. The Anwaar Afriqya, carrying fuel from Greece, was attacked while anchored to offload the cargo for a power plant in the coastal region of Sirte, Rida Issa said in a telephone interview.

Africa

South Sudan denies rebels have taken control of oil fields

20/05/2015

South Sudan’s government denied claims by rebel forces that they’ve seized oil fields in the north of the country after clashes in the region. Lony T. Ngungdeng, a spokesman for insurgents loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, said on Tuesday that the fighters took control of facilities in Upper Nile state, which are still producing crude. Fighting is taking place around Malakal, the state capital, and Akoka, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said by phone Wednesday from South Sudan.

Africa

Anadarko picks contractor for Mozambique LNG

18/05/2015

Anadarko Petroleum has selected a consortium for the initial development of the onshore LNG park in Mozambique. The company said work will be carried out by the group, which includes Chiyoda Corporation, Saipem and CB&I, in the country's offshore area 1. The scope of the work includes for the onshore LNG park, which includes two LNG trains.

Africa

Nigerian economic growth slows on oil industry’s contraction

14/05/2015

Economic growth in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, slowed in the first quarter as the oil industry contracted amid a slump in prices, according to the country’s statistics bureau. Expansion in gross domestic product eased on an annual basis to 4 percent compared with 5.9 percent a quarter earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.

Africa

Cairn Energy says offshore oilfields could hold more than a billion barrels

11/05/2015

Oil explorer Cairn Energy said its oilfields offshore Senegal could hold more than a billion barrels of oil and the company and its partners plan to drill up to six new wells over three years. Edinburgh-based Cairn and its joint venture partners will start drilling work in a new area around its existing SNE-1 discovery well in the fourth quarter of this year, the London-listed oil firm said. “Cairn estimates that the existing two discoveries and the currently identified prospects and leads have an estimated mean risked resource base of more than a billion barrels," the company said.

Africa

Gulfsands Petroleum removes chief executive

14/04/2015

Gulfsands Petroleum has removed its chief executive. Mahdi Sajjad has been replaced by Alastair Beardshall as executive chairman with immediate effect. The oil and gas company, which operated in the North African region, said Sajjad would remain as a director of the company.

Africa

Three workers kidnapped in Nigeria

14/04/2015

French company Bourbon said three of its crew members were kidnapped from a crew boat off the coast of Nigeria. The incident happened on the Surfer 1440 after pirates boarded the vessel on April 8. A spokesman for the company said:"The 3 crew members of Nigerian nationality have been kidnapped. An emergency unit based in Nigeria has been immediately activated.

Africa

Celebrations erupt in Northern Nigeria as Buhari wins presidency

31/03/2015

Celebrations erupted across northern Nigeria after Muhammadu Buhari clinched victory in presidential elections, ending a 16-year monopoly on power held by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. Thousands of jubilant youths spilled into streets of Kano, Maiduguri, Yola and other cities, shouting, honking horns and chanting Buhari’s name. Some carried brooms, the symbol of Buhari’s All Progressives Congress party and an emblem of it’s campaign for change. Buhari, a Muslim northerner and former military ruler, won 52.4 percent of votes cast and a majority in 19 of the 36 states, including all the predominately Muslim northern ones.

Africa

Nigerian stocks gain eighth day as Buhari leads election race

31/03/2015

Nigerian stocks gained for an eighth day and bonds extended a rally as former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari took the lead with half of the country’s states reporting results from the March 28-29 general elections. Four shares climbed for every one that fell on the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index, taking the gauge to its highest level since March 10, and paring losses this quarter to 9.3%. Yields on $500 million of Nigerian dollar bonds due July 2023 fell for a ninth day to the lowest level since December 10. “The fact that the voting is behind us now in itself is positive, even though we’re still waiting for results,” Yvonne Mhango, a Johannesburg-based economist at Renaissance Capital, said by phone.

Africa

Total in Ugandan tax dispute

31/03/2015

Total is seeking international arbitration regarding a tax disagreement with Uganda. The debate could delay oil production in the east African country further. In 2006 the country struck hydrocarbon deposits along its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country’s crude reserves are estimated to be around 6.5billion barrels by government geologists.

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