Africa

Africa

South Sudan fighting escalates in oil states before peace talks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Africa

Cliffhanger in Nigerian election

In a cliffhanger of a Nigerian election, early returns from half the states showed President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari almost even. The US and Britain warned of “disturbing indications” that the tally could be subject to political interference. Counting stopped just before midnight with Mr Jonathan winning nine states and the tiny Federal Capital Territory to Mr Buhari’s nine states. But Mr Buhari won many more votes - 8.5 million to Mr Jonathan’s 6.48. Another 18 states - including Lagos which has the biggest number of voters of any state - still have to send results to the counting centre in Abuja, electoral commissioner Attahiru Jega announced.

Africa

Total evacuates staff from Yemen

Total has evacuated all expatriate staff from Saana and Kharir in Yemen. The French oil major said its operations on Yemen’s Block 10 have also been reduced , with gas production maintained only for local power generation and supply to nearby communities. It comes after disruption in the region following an overnight military raid by Saudi-led forces against Houthi forces.

Africa

Nigerian stocks gain as buyers seek bargains before vote results

Nigerian equities rose to a two-week high as isolated incidents of violence spurred investors to take advantage of the cheapest stocks in Africa before final results from presidential and legislative elections are tallied. The advance extended gains over the past seven days to 4.8 percent, taking the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index to its best level since March 16. The measure is still down almost 12 percent this quarter, the most among 24 African gauges tracked by Bloomberg. It is trading at 9.3 times estimated earnings, the lowest on the continent after Zimbabwe. Investors encouraged by the lack of violence are taking “early positions” should prices rise, Ayodeji Ebo, head of research at Afrinvest West Africa Ltd. in Lagos, said by phone. “They’re cautious, they’re not being very aggressive. But they’re trying to increase their exposure, knowing that if there’s no post-election violence the only direction for the market will be upwards.”

Africa

Nigeria election result awaited

Nigerians are waiting in hope and fear for results of the tightest and most bitterly contested presidential election in the nation’s turbulent history. Collation of results starts at noon local time and winner could be named later today or tomorrow, electoral officials say. One radio station played the song written by entertainment star 2Face Idibia in Nigeria’s colloquial English: “Vote not fight; Election no be war!”