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Africa

Africa

Algeria’s Sonatrach says low oil won’t deter investments

Algeria will press ahead with its $90 billion investment plan in the North African country’s oil and gas industry even with crude prices trading near five-year lows, said the head of state-run energy producer Sonatrach. Sonatrach will invest $22 billion in natural-gas field development as part of the $90 billion program for 2015-19, said Sahnoun, the company’s interim chief executive officer, said at the North Africa Oil & Gas Summit conference in Algiers yesterday. Oil prices have declined about 40% from a June peak amid overproduction and slower demand growth. Brent crude ended last week at $69.07 a barrel.

Africa

Heirs Holdings partner to expand African footprint

General Electric (GE) and Heirs Holdings (HH) have agreed to expand their business relationship and pursue opportunities in Nigeria's oil and gas sector. The pair have identified an opening in the country's upstream sector and domestic demand for oil and gas in the country. The firms' collaboration was initially focused on the Nigerian power sector and the expansion of Transcorp Ughelli, Nigeria's biggest power station.

Africa

Nigeria looks to rake in $1billion in gas flare fines

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, is now using a satellite tracking system in a bid to raise more than $1billion in fines annually for illegal gas flaring. The major oil producer struggles to support the country’s energy needs and fails to even keep the lights on for more than three hours a day in some parts of the country. However, it’s hoped by tracking illegal flaring the country has a better chance of harnessing its gas potential which can eventually feed into supporting Nigeria’s flagging energy security.

Africa

Libya National Oil strives to keep control as feuds split nation

Libya’s National Oil Corp. issued a notice warning its customers not to purchase crude from any other entities in the North African nation, where oil fields have been seized by armed groups and control is split between two feuding governments. “This notice has been issued protectively to make sure that no shipment is done outside National Oil Corp.’s control,” Ahmed Shawki, the company’s head of marketing, said by phone from Tripoli. “NOC is neutral, its main concern is to secure the resources of the Libyan people.” Libya is divided after its internationally recognized government, led by Abdullah al-Thani, sought refuge in the country’s east after Islamist militias took over Tripoli in July. Omar al-Hassi set up a rival government in the capital with the backing of the militants. The country’s largest oil field, Sharara, was seized last week by a group loyal to the Islamists, according to consultant Eurasia Group.

Africa

Ophir Energy continues takeover talks with Salamander

Takeover talks for Salamander Energy are still ongoing, after the board of Ophir Energy confirmed it has sent a letter outlining its vision for a potential deal. Ophir Energy said it there is a “compelling strategic logic” for the two businesses to work together. In a statement the company said a deal would create enhanced operating capability in both Africa and South East Africa.

Africa

Falcon wins shale licence in Karoo Basin

Irish explorer Falcon Oil and Gas has been awarded a shale gas exploration licence in South Africa’s Karoo Basin. The company announced its application had been approved by the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA). In December 2012, the company announced it would be working exclusively with Chevron Business Development South Africa for a period of five years on jointly obtaining exploration licences.

Africa

Angola strengthens tax abilities amid budget crunch

Branches of companies operating in Angola, Africa’s second-largest crude oil producer, face a new tax on profits sent home to headquarters. The new levy, approved in an Oct. 20 decree by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, will charge 10 percent when it comes into effect Nov. 19, according to the government gazette. The tax will be cut for a limited time to 5 percent in some cases, it said. Angola is updating tax laws in use since before Portugal ceded independence to the southwest African nation in 1974 to improve revenue, broaden collection and streamline procedures. The government faces a budget crunch this year after crude prices and production plunged.

Africa

Iran’s oil revenue falls 30% because of global price decline

Iran’s revenue from crude sales, the OPEC member’s biggest export, dropped 30 percent because of the recent decline in global oil prices, according to President Hassan Rouhani. “International conditions are such that the country’s main source of income, i.e. oil revenues, has been cut by some 30 percent,” Rouhani said in remarks to parliament published yesterday on Shana, the Oil Ministry’s news website. “We have to deal with the new conditions and the global economic conditions.”

Africa

Eni makes oil discovery in Congo

Eni has announced its third quarter results alongside the discovery of up to one million barrels of oil in the Congo. The company posted its third quarter results, which showed net profit of €1.71billion was down by 57% since the same time last year.

Africa

Energy resources could ‘revive’ Mozambique

Mozambique’s booming energy prospects could bring a turn-around in the country’s outlook amid a ceasefire between its opposing political parties. Frelimo and former rebel group Renamo signed a peace treaty in August which could improve the energy rich nation’s prospects ahead of the elections on October 15.

Africa

Nigerian privatization yet to benefit power-starved businesses

Award-winning Nigerian sculptor Olu Amoda took eight months to complete The Sunflower, a giant artwork of steel and metal spoons, in his studio in Lagos, Africa’s biggest city, because of electricity shortages. Amoda could have finished the piece in several weeks if he lived in a country with a steady power supply, such as the US, where he has presented works at the New York Museum of Art and Design. But he lives in Nigeria, which produces a 10th of the amount generated in South Africa even though its population of 170 million is more than three times larger. Blackouts are a daily occurrence. “In some places people ask ‘how’s the weather’,” he said. “Here my friends ask, ‘how is electricity in your area’.”

Africa

Kenya sees oil resources almost double with more drilling

Kenya expects its estimate of oil resources to almost double to 1 billion barrels as well-drilling climbs and the government forges ahead with plans to build an export pipeline, an energy ministry official said. Tullow Oil and its partner Africa Oil Corp. have discovered an estimated 600 million barrels of oil in the South Lokichar Basin since announcing the country’s first crude find in March 2012. The discovery has spurred the East African nation to accelerate infrastructure-development plans, including construction of an oil pipeline that will link Uganda to a planned port in the Kenyan coastal town of Lamu.

Africa

South Sudan to split oil concession as lawmakers question award

South Sudan plans to split an oil block awarded to Star Petroleum SA, a Luxembourg-registered company, as part of a review of a concession criticized by the country’s lawmakers, Petroleum Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said. Block E, which covers 45,000 square kilometers (17,375 square miles), will be divided into two, Dau said in an interview on Sept. 9 in the capital, Juba. The terms were reviewed because the concession was awarded in 2010, the year before South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, he said. A draft agreement is being assessed by the country’s Petroleum and Gas Commission. “The terms that were given when we were one country, some are not favorable to our interests regarding the environment and the economy,” Dau said. Two years ago, South Sudan split Block B, an oil concession in which Total SA had a controlling stake, into three parts to encourage more foreign investment in its oil industry. Total signed exploration and production-sharing agreements for the block with the Sudanese government before South Sudan seceded. Exxon Mobil Corp., the U.S.’s largest oil company, in April ended exploration plans with Total in South Sudan.