Cote d’Ivoire: Azonto gives up on Gazelle

Azonto Petroleum has agreed to sell its 35% stake in Vioco Petroleum to joint-venture partner Vitol, which holds the other 65 percent. Faced with delays and cost increases to the planned Gazelle gas field development, Azonto said it had concluded that a sale was the best way to realise value from its ...

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Mozambique: EDM looks to more diesel generation

Shortfalls in meeting demand in the Central-Northern region due to long delays in installing more sustainable generation capacity mean Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) is in the market for more diesel power generation. According to EDM executive board member Isaias Vasco Rabeca, “load-shedding during peak load time is already inevitable ...

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Mauritania: Government seeks to revive Banda gas scheme

The government is seeking to recruit legal and transaction advisers to revive the Banda gas-to-power project, with funding from the World Bank. The project consists of the offshore Banda gas field, a 180MW power plant and a 120MW second phase extension, as well as transmission infrastructure to supply power within ...

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Kenya/Tanzania: Interconnection tender

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) and Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) have released bid documents for four contract lots covering the design, supply and installation of a 400kV overhead transmission line for the Kenya-Tanzania power interconnection project. The 508km line, with 93km in Kenya and 415km in Tanzania, will be ...

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Equatorial Guinea: Ophir awards FEED contracts

Ophir Energy said on 9 July that it has awarded upstream front-end engineering and design (FEED) contracts for the Fortuna floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project in Block R to two contractor consortia. The company says it is considering a second FLNG vessel on the development, while still looking to bring ...

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Dos Santos on the defensive in Angola as financial woes deepen

Angola’s government is running short of money just as the issue of who might succeed President José Eduardo dos Santos again comes under discussion. The president raised eyebrows in early July when he said he intended to see out his term of...

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Niger refinery exports suspended amid tensions with Chinese partners

Relations between the Chinese and Nigerien partners in the 20,000 b/d Société de Raffinage de Zinder (Soraz) refinery in southern Niger have worsened further, with the Chinese demanding that they manage exports directly, instead of via the state...

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Controversial South Africa nuclear procurement to begin by end-September

The process of procuring 9,600MW of nuclear power will begin by end-September and will be completed within the financial year, according to deputy director-general for nuclear energy at the Department of Energy (DoE) Zizamele Mbambo. Speaking at a...

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Mali: Solar power project for Ségou

The Ministry of Energy and Water, Electricité du Mali and project company Ségou Solaire SA signed a 25-year power purchase agreement and other contracts on 9 July for a 33MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Ségou. Ségou Solaire is 50% owned...

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Algeria’s south tested by insurgencies, slow pace of hydrocarbons development

Despite his incapacities, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, with his Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, has spent recent weeks giving the impression of action at the top. New senior management is bedding in at national oil company Sonatrach, and...

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South Sudan production stabilises but debts mount

South Sudan’s crude production in the first half of July was estimated at 160,000-165,000 b/d, according to industry sources. Sources in Juba have confirmed that Chinese oil workers were evacuated in May from key oilfields in South Sudan’s only...

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Perspectives

A selection of free articles from African Energy's extensive database

ICA finds rise in infrastructure finance commitments, but implementation patchy

Reports of significantly increased commitments for energy and other projects across the continent have been given substance by the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) annual report, unveiled in Cape Town on 25 November. The ICA reports that, for the second year running, there was a significant rise in commitments and disbursements for energy, transport, water and information and communications technology (ICT) ...

Issue 290 - 4 December 2014

Uganda: Bid round planned for 2015

Uganda is planning a licensing round next year, and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is evaluating bids from consultancy companies to assist with the process. Ministry principal geologist Fred Kabanda told Global Pacific & Partners’ Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town on 5 November that despite the exploration successes of recent years, the Albertine Graben was only 40% explored, and ...

Issue 289 - 20 November 2014

Liberia: Bid round closes

Bid round advisers EY opened licensing round bids from prequalified companies in London on 17 November. National Oil Company of Liberia (Nocal) said EY would now provide an independent evaluation of the fiscal terms contained in each bid. Winning bidders are expected to be notified by 24 November, and Nocal will then negotiate production-sharing contracts (PSCs) with the companies. The Liberia Basin ...

Issue 289 - 20 November 2014

South Africa: REIPPP wrestles with grid issue

The Department of Energy’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) office has been working hard to resolve issues with connecting renewable IPPs to the grid and monitoring their economic development commitments, influential National Treasury senior project adviser Karen Breytenbach told the South African National Energy Association earlier this month. Grid connection is the primary obstacle to closing the projects of preferred ...

Issue 289 - 20 November 2014

Ghana: Agreement on disputed Tano blocks, but ratification awaits

Pan Andean Resources and the government have reached agreement in a dispute which began in March after Parliament ratified the award to Houston-headquartered, Nigerian-owned Camac Energy of the Expanded Shallow Water Tano (ESWT) Block. Some of ESWT’s acreage was already licensed to the Irish-led Pan Andean. Investors welcomed the deal, but observers said parliamentary ratification could take some time, ...

Issue 288 - 10 November 2014

Eskom offered R20bn backed by asset sales

Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s medium-term budget policy statement speech said the government would inject at least R20bn ($1.82bn) into Eskom, but only once the struggling national utility had sold some non-strategic assets. The funding will be deficit-neutral, with Eskom only to receive the funds after the non-strategic asset sales. Nene added that, “if necessary”, the funds could be ...

Issue 288 - 10 November 2014

DR Congo: Kinshasa blacks out with Inga II breakdowns, power line delays

The situation at the 1,424MW capacity Inga II plant has become extremely problematic, with state utility Société Nationale d’Électricité (Snel) warning the public in mid-October that Kinshasa and Bas-Congo Province would suffer serious power cuts until December, owing to maintenance problems. Two of Inga II’s five operational 178MW turbines will have to be repaired before end-November. Snel ...

Issue 288 - 6 November 2014

Namibia: Tullow drops Kudu gas development as share price tumbles

Tullow Oil and its partner Itochu Corporation are pulling out of the Kudu gas field development, transferring their stake back to the government, which looks set to bring in Chinese partners in their place. Industry sources said Tullow had lost patience with the slow progress on the project, where the government had been supposed to find a new upstream partner ...

Issue 288 - 6 November 2014

Kenya: Wells planned for onshore blocks 2B, 12B

Operator Taipan Resources has signed a letter of intent with China’s Greatwall Drilling Company to contract the GW-190 land rig for the high-impact Badada-1 well on Block 2B. The Anza Basin well is expected to spud between mid-December and mid-January and take around 70 days to drill. Premier Oil farmed into the onshore block in October 2013, taking 55%. “The Badada-1 well ...

Issue 287 - 27 October 2014

Nigeria: IFC buys $50m of Seven Energy bond issue

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has subscribed to $50m of notes in the inaugural bond issuances by Nigerian gas developer Seven Energy International. Seven Energy is Nigeria’s first unlisted oil and gas company to tap the international capital markets, and the company’s bond issuances raised a total of $400m. Part of the proceeds will fund ...

Issue 287 - 27 October 2014

North Africa: Desertec disappears into the sand

The much-vaunted Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) has made many claims since its foundation in 2009, initially as a predominantly German conglomerate of major industrial companies whose big idea was to harness the world-scale solarity of the Sahara and wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to generate power for export into the European Union. Even as more international companies signed ...

Issue 287 - 24 October 2014

Nigeria: Ophir founders Stein and Taylor join Sirius Petroleum

AIM-listed Sirius Petroleum has appointed Ophir Energy founders Alan Stein and Jonathan Taylor to a new technical advisory committee to help it bring its Ororo field in block OML95 offshore Nigeria into production. The appointments form part of a broader technical advisory agreement with Perth-based natural resources investment company Havoc Partners, which was co-founded by Stein and Taylor. Sirius acquired 40% ...

Issue 287 - 24 October 2014

South Africa: US officials speak out over Koeberg tender

The dispute that broke out between Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Eskom following the award to France’s Areva of a R4.2bn ($383m) contract to replace six steam generators at the Koeberg nuclear power plant (AE 285/3, 284/5) has led to strongly worded statements from US officials. US ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard told the Nedbank-NEPAD Business Foundation Networking Forum this ...

Issue 287 - 24 October 2014

South Sudan: Questions over ‘oil for arms’

In August, a 600,000-barrel oil cargo for September lifting was awarded to China International United Petroleum & Chemicals (Unipec). But, according to an oil industry source, Unipec was invoiced to pay not the government of South Sudan, but Chinese arms manufacturer China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco). This arrangement has not been made before, but there is precedent for a direct ...

Issue 286 - 10 October 2014

South Sudan oil production drop to cost $2m a day

South Sudan’s oil production has fallen by about 25,000 b/d, or 15%, due to problems with well maintenance in the key producing state of Upper Nile, according to the latest sales and marketing data from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines. The ministry has outlined a lifting programme for 4.2m barrels of crude for November, equivalent to 140,000 b/d. Production ...

Issue 286 - 9 October 2014

Corporate China seeks deeper penetration across African markets

President Xi Jingping’s call for China-Africa trade to exceed $400bn by 2020, with infrastructure investment a priority in driving that exponential increase, is a realistic target as ever more Chinese companies explore the continent’s markets. China Inc made a spectacular return to African business in the last decade, with bilateral trade rising from $10bn in 2000 to $210bn in 2013 – an ...

Issue 286 - 9 October 2014

New Eni CEO investigated over OPL 245

Eni’s new chief executive, Claudio Descalzi, is under preliminary investigation by the Milan prosecutor’s office in relation to the acquisition of Nigerian block OPL 245 in 2011. Descalzi, who replaced Paolo Scaroni in May, was head of Eni’s exploration and production division at the time of the Nigerian transaction. “Eni continues to deny any illegal conduct,” the company said ...

Issue 285 - 29 September 2014

Niger Delta E&P plans $450m equity offer

Niger Delta Exploration & Production (NDEP) plans to raise $450m through a share offer, CEO Layi Fatona told the company’s annual general meeting in Lagos on 19 September. The first tranche of $200m is expected to be raised by year-end from either local or international markets and will fund the acquisition and development of oil fields in Nigeria. There is no ...

Issue 285 - 25 September 2014

Morocco: Bids in but no decision on 850MW wind farms

State utility Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) has finally opened bids for 850MW of power to be generated at five sites, a key element in the Integrated Wind Energy Programme (PIEE), which aims to generate 2GW by 2020. Decisions on the 850MW element (tender no SP 40 311) have been delayed while ONEE has put together financing ...

Issue 285 - 25 September 2014

New Rwanda utility faces up to challenge of expanding generation

Rwanda plans to raise generation capacity to 563MW from 115MW by 2017, and to increase the electricity access rate to 70% from 18% within the next three years. The Ministry of Infrastructure says this ambitious level of expansion is essential if Rwanda is to reach its target of 11.5% annual growth over the next five years.The government restructured the Electricity, Water and Sanitation ...

Issue 285 - 25 September 2014

Ghana thinks big on small-scale solar

Off-grid solar provider Persistent Energy Ghana (PEG) is seeking to quadruple its customer base by year-end, despite the many challenges presented by a new market. “In Ghana, there are approximately 5m people off grid. If we only reach a tiny percentage of them, we will hit our targets,” PEG chief operating officer Nate Heller told African Energy. The company, owned ...

Issue 284 - 11 September 2014

Guinea renews Aggreko contract despite high cost

Beleaguered state utility Electricité de Guinée (EDG) has announced the renewal of its 50MW emergency power contract with Aggreko, which accounted for a massive 36% of EDG’s total expenditure in H1 2014. The utility’s half-year results, released in late August, show that investment in generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure received only 4% of total H1 2014 spending. According to EDG, in ...

Issue 284 - 11 September 2014

Somalia takes Kenya to ICJ over maritime border dispute

The Somali government has turned to the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to resolve its maritime border dispute with Kenya. In its application, posted on the ICJ’s website on 28 August, Somali minister of foreign affairs and investment promotion Abdirahman Dualeh Beileh asked the court to determine the course of the maritime boundary, saying “diplomatic ...

Issue 284 - 11 September 2014

New Somalia co-operation agreement seeks to build capacity

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Petroleum has signed a co-operation agreement with the Somali Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources aimed at building capacity. Mubadala, part of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development Company, which is led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, said the agreement was “aimed at sharing knowledge, increasing the strength of the Somali ministry and ...

Issue 283 - 7 August 2014

Côte d’Ivoire: Markets snap up bond issue

Côte d’Ivoire has priced a $750m ten-year bond at a final yield of 5.625%, according to a government statement. Government debt is rated B1 (positive outlook) by Moody’s and B (positive outlook) by Fitch. The country missed coupon payments on its outstanding 2032 Eurobond in 2010–11 as it emerged from political and economic crisis, and had to restructure its external ...

Issue 282 - 25 July 2014

Morocco: IFC gives Acwa Power a push

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation private finance arm is investing up to $100m in Saudi developer Acwa Power, which “will help the company significantly increase the amount of power it generates from renewable sources and meet growing energy demand throughout the Middle East and North Africa [and] the southern cone of Africa”, the IFC said in a statement ...

Issue 282 - 25 July 2014

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Ghana's oil and gas infrastructure map

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Hydrocarbons infrastructure in the Niger Delta

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Zambia's power sector infrastructure

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South Africa's power infrastructure

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African Energy View

Mozambique excites but Maputo must tackle governance concerns

On a wave of optimism about its offshore Rovuma Basin reserves, Mozambique has emerged as a poster boy for the ‘Africa...

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Obama the African builds continental legacy that mixes business with pressure

The concluding two years of Barack Obama’s mandate promises a busy agenda in which key elements of the presidential agenda...

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Miners, minnows short of equity as commodities cycle resists upturn

Hard-pressed producer government treasuries, operators and investors across the natural resources industries have one big...

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