South Africa: Nuclear agreement signed with France

The Department of Energy on 14 October announced the signing of an intergovernmental framework agreement on nuclear co-operation with France. After the furore surrounding the announcement of a similar agreement with Russia in September, this statement was more carefully worded, announcing that the “agreement initiates the preparatory phase for the possible ...

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IEA urges greater African energy investment

Without much higher levels of investment the poor performance of the energy sector will act as an inhibitor to growth and the continent will miss out on its economic potential, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns in its new Africa Energy Outlook. “Put simply, the energy sector of sub-Saharan Africa ...

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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 ...

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Equatorial Guinea: Ophir buoyed by Fortuna DST

Ophir Energy has announced a successful drill stem test (DST) on the Fortuna-2 well on Block R. The Fortuna field is expected to form the first phase of a planned floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) development. The DST achieved a sustained flow rate of 60mcf/d with a drawdown of ...

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Cameroon: Woodside farms into Noble’s Tilapia block

Australia’s Woodside Petroleum has continued its brisk pace of African acquisitions by farming into the Tilapia production-sharing contract in the Douala Basin. Woodside will acquire a 30% non-operating interest in the 3875km² block. Operator Noble Energy will retain 46.67%, while Glencore will retain 23.33%. The joint venture plans to drill the Cheetah ...

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Botswana: First Quantum to take majority stake in Sese

Miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FQM) has agreed to purchase up to 75% of the Sese coal-to-power project from Australia’s African Energy Resources (AFR) for $20m. The companies have executed a binding heads of agreement under which FQM can earn an interest in the Sese project through investment of A$20...

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Financial close of Ghana’s Cenpower scheme boosts West Africa gas prospects

Cenpower Generation Company Limited announced the financial close of $900m of project finance for the Kpone independent power plant (IPP) at Tema on 3 October. The 350MW combined cycle gas turbine plant is due on stream in 2017 and will be...

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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...

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Botswana: Problems continue at Morupule

Two years after it was scheduled to begin full operation, all four units at the 600MW Morupule B coal power plant are out of service. Energy and water resources minister Kitso Mokaila told reporters on 14 October that the president of the lead...

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Tullow faces more protests in Kenya’s Turkana region

Tullow Oil’s operations in Kenya’s Turkana County continue to be affected by worker unrest. On 10 October, Kenyan media reported that the company was facing limited industrial protests at its Ekosowan well on Block 10BB, although Tullow announced...

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Afren sacks senior team over unauthorised payments

Afren has sacked chief executive officer Osman Shahenshah and chief operating officer Shahid Ullah for gross misconduct following a review into the receipt of unauthorised payments by members of management and senior employees. In a 13 October...

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Morocco: Onhym plays down Genel well result

Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (Onhym) is playing down reports of an offshore discovery by Genel Energy with the Sidi Moussa 1 well. Partner San Leon Energy on 20 October said the well had reached a total depth of 2,825...

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Perspectives

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

Namibia: NamPower sees Kudu meeting supply deficit

With a final investment decision on the Kudu gas project’s upstream development expected in mid-2014, offtaker NamPower is pushing to conclude gas sales agreements by June and reach financial close by December to allow construction to start on the power plant, managing director Paulinus Shilamba said on 11 March. Completion by 2018 of the Kudu combined-cycle gas turbine plant is now ...

Issue 274 - 28 March 2014

Kenya: Lake Turkana Wind Power signs financing agreements

After eight years in the pipeline, the 300MW Lake Turkana wind power project finally signed financing agreements worth €498m ($687m) on 24 March. The much-publicised project, described as the largest private investment in Kenyan history, has the support of a wide range of financiers, led by a revitalised African Development Bank (AfDB), but the time taken to reach financial close highlights ...

Issue 274 - 28 March 2014

Tanzania lines up new private power projects, IPTL saga drags on

Irish-registered Kibo Mining is in the early stages of planning a 300-350MW mine-mouth plant at the Rukwa coal field in the Mbeya region. Chief executive Louis Coetzee told African Energy the proposed open-cast mine method and on-site development should keep generation costs low, with power then fed into the national grid to help tackle Tanzania’s growing power supply ...

Issue 274 - 28 March 2014

Ghana: Parliament ratifies two new exploration deals

Parliament has ratified petroleum agreements for the South Deepwater Tano and East Cape Three Points blocks. South Deepwater Tano has been awarded to a new Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) subsidiary, GNPC Exploration and Production Company (Explorco), which will jointly operate the block with a 79% stake, while AGM Petroleum Ghana will hold the other 21% interest. AGM Ghana is a subsidiary ...

Issue 267 - 5 December 2013

Libya oil spat threatens fresh conflict

The oil terminal blockaders who exported crude from As Sidrah port on 12 March are bracing for possible armed conflict while also lining up further autonomous sales, according to Political Bureau of Cyrenaica (PBC) spokesman Osama Buera. Speaking by telephone from the border between east and west Libya, he told African Energy that Cyrenaican forces had erected a barrier at Wadi ...

Issue 273 - 13 March 2014

IOCs, Morocco find business-friendly interpretation of Western Sahara resources stand-off

Total and Kosmos Energy have both signed a Joint Declaration of Principles with the Moroccan government setting out commitments regarding exploration and any eventual development in the disputed Western Sahara. Kosmos said the declaration signed on 19 December 2013 outlined commitments on exploration activities and the key principles under which development would proceed if commercially viable hydrocarbon deposits were discovered. It stated ...

Issue 273 - 13 March 2014

Tullow declares force majeure ahead of planned well in Guinea

Hyperdynamics Corporation said on 12 March that Tullow Oil had declared force majeure over its Guinea acreage. The announcement followed a guilty plea by French national Frédéric Cilins to obstructing a US criminal investigation in connection with a bribery probe into how Beny Steinmetz’s BSG Resources (BSGR) acquired mining rights in Guinea.On 30 September, the US Department of ...

Issue 273 - 13 March 2014

Nigeria: Oando denies planning sale of drilling arm

Oando has denied reports that it plans to sell its Oando Energy Services (OES) drilling subsidiary as it finalises the purchase of ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian assets by Oando Energy Resources (OER). “We wish to explicitly state that OER has successfully acquired all funds required to complete the acquisition, and is awaiting the consent of the minister of the Federal Ministry of ...

Issue 272 - 4 March 2014

South Africa: Nuclear may be back in contention

South Africa’s nuclear procurement saga saw another twist after President Jacob Zuma appeared to recommit the government to procuring 9,600MW of nuclear capacity in his State of the Nation address on 13 February, although the updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) only closed to public comment on 7 February and is not expected to be approved by Cabinet until March. The draft ...

Issue 272 - 3 March 2014

Namibia: Shell re-enters offshore

Royal Dutch Shell has acquired blocks 2913A and 2914B in the Orange Basin from Signet Petroleum, which is 42% owned by AIM-listed Polo Resources. Shell has bought Signet’s 90% interest in the blocks, with National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia retaining its 10% carried interest. The acreage borders Shell’s Orange Basin Deep Water Block off the west coast of South Africa, where ...

Issue 272 - 28 February 2014

Malawi: Audit reports corruption losses of $32m in six months

The audit, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, was contracted following revelations of the so-called “cashgate” scandal that caused President Joyce Banda to sack her cabinet in October and led to the suspension of $150m of aid by major donors, including the UK and European Union. The first three of some 70 people who have been charged appeared ...

Issue 272 - 28 February 2014

Ecowas grants for Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has signed grant agreements for Gambia, Mali and Sierra Leone under the Emergency Regional Programme for Improved Electricity Supply Facility. Gambia will receive $31.9m, Mali $54.34m and Sierra Leone $21.8m. Ecowas commission chairman Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo said the support, granted in response to requests from the three countries, would ensure ...

Issue 271 - 14 February 2014

South Africa: Renewables ticking over but no announcement on third round

Renewable energy projects are making progress as the industry waits for a government decision on whether to increase the capacity allocated to the third round of the renewable energy independent power producers procurement programme (REIPPP) and the outcome of public consultation for the revised Integrated Resource Plan (AE 268/5). While energy minister Dikobe Ben Martins barely mentioned the issue in a ...

Issue 271 - 13 February 2014

Liberians file complaint over failed biomass scheme

Liberian farmers, charcoal producers and workers have filed a complaint with the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), accusing it of failing to monitor investments made to a failed biomass project. Between 2009 and 2011, Buchanan Renewables (BR) received $216.7m from Opic for a project to harvest rubber trees for biomass, rejuvenate family farms and generate sustainable energy for Liberia. Opic’s ...

Issue 271 - 13 February 2014

Angola: New pre-salt find for Cobalt

Cobalt International Energy has announced a first discovery in the syn-rift interval in the Bicuar #1A pre-salt deep-water exploratory well on Block 21. The well was drilled to a depth of 5,739 metres and encountered 56 metres of oil and condensate pay from multiple pre-salt intervals. This is the fourth deep-water pre-salt discovery offshore Angola by Sonangol and Cobalt, and the first discovery ...

Issue 270 - 4 February 2014

Morocco: A pragmatic approach to achieving sustainable long-term vision

With big programmes to develop solar and wind generation, and several major thermal projects planned, Moroccan officials can demonstrate a dynamic business environment. Mustapha Bakkoury, head of solar agency Masen, can point to the $9bn Projet Solaire Marocain (PSM) development plan financed by international banks and agencies, local markets and equity. Along with a huge wind power programme and plans ...

Issue 270 - 30 January 2014

DR Congo postpones debate on oil law

National Assembly chairman Aubin Minaku on 22 January ordered the suspension of debate on Democratic Republic of Congo’s new oil law, which was approved by the Senate last year. There is still a long way to go, as only 20 articles have been discussed and approved, of a total 127. According to the United Nations-sponsored Radio Okapi, the debate should resume at ...

Issue 270 - 30 January 2014

New Algeria round will test IOC enthusiasm for new law

Algeria’s energy authorities have staked their upstream strategy and their international credibility on the largest licensing round ever held in the country. It is the first to be held since amendments to the hydrocarbons law were passed in January 2013, so will test whether commercial terms have been improved enough to attract substantial international interest. The perimeters on offer include ...

Issue 270 - 23 January 2014

Gambia: Government cancels licences

The government has cancelled licences awarded to African Petroleum and Oranto Petroleum for “failure to meet the licence obligations by the licensees”. A statement by the Office of the President in Banjul said the government’s decision was in accordance with the provisions of the country’s petroleum laws. African Petroleum farmed into blocks A1 and A4 held by Canada’...

Issue 269 - 16 January 2014

Côte d’Ivoire: Lukoil drills Indépendance appraisal well

Russia’s Lukoil Overseas has drilled a successful appraisal well on the Indépendance discovery on Block CI-401 in the Tano Basin. The well was drilled to a total depth of more than 4,500 metres in 1,600 metre water depths using Ocean Rig’s Eirik Raude semisubmersible rig. Lukoil said the well had proven oil presence in the Turonian sands of the ...

Issue 269 - 16 January 2014

Ethiopia announces ambitious power generation expansion programme

The Ethiopian government has announced ambitious plans to expand its generation capacity to 37,000MW by 2037 from 2,300MW now, to meet growing domestic demand and supply the region. Ethiopia already exports 60MW to Djibouti and 100MW to Sudan, and is constructing a 500kV interconnection with Kenya, capable of exporting 2,000MW. However, under the new programme, the government aims to export 4,000MW ...

Issue 269 - 16 January 2014

Uganda: Refinery project bidders shortlisted

The government has shortlisted six bidders to build an oil refinery on the shores of Lake Albert. According to the Ministry for Energy and Mineral Development, following a request for qualification launched in early October, the government received responses from 75 interested parties. Eight companies or consortia submitted detailed qualification statements, and of the six to be shortlisted, the winner will ...

Issue 268 - 20 December 2013

South African resource plan puts flexibility at heart of power sector

A draft of the updated integrated resource plan (IRP) 2010-2030 has been released by South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) for public comment. The document revises downwards the 2030 electricity demand forecast from 454TWh in the 2010 IRP to 345-416TWh, with significant implications for nuclear power strategy. This means that peak generation will be 61,200MW rather than 67,800MW, at the ...

Issue 268 - 20 December 2013

South Africa’s regulatory uncertainty overshadows exploration optimism

Controversial proposals to amend South Africa’s minerals law have attracted fresh criticism from the country’s respected regulator. In an uncharacteristically emotional address to Global Pacific & Partners’ Africa Upstream conference on 29 November, Petroleum Agency SA resource evaluation manager Dave van der Spuy observed that the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill, which is presently before parliament, provided for ...

Issue 267 - 5 December 2013

South Africa: City Power cleared of fraud and corruption

Johannesburg utility City Power has been cleared of all allegations of fraud and corruption relating to a tender awarded to Edison Power Group for advanced metering infrastructure in 2012. An independent review panel chaired by Vuyani Ngalwana concluded that they could find “no evidence of improper interference in the bid evaluation process” and “no evidence of irregularity in the award of [...

Issue 266 - 25 November 2013

ExxonMobil to resume Madagascar exploration

ExxonMobil is resuming exploration on its three offshore licences following the approval of extensions to its production sharing contracts. The company said on 6 November that it had received decrees formalising the extensions that were signed on 17 July by President Andry Rajoelina, and its subsidiaries intended “to resume exploration work and environmental assessments for shore-based and offshore operations in preparation for ...

Issue 266 - 23 November 2013

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Hydrocarbons exploration in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea

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Electricity infrastructure in DR Congo

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Egypt's power infrastructure map

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Algeria's oil and gas exploration and production infrastructure map

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Angola's oil fields and export infrastructure

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African Energy View

Momentum builds as heavyweights get behind infrastructure

The momentum behind a multinational effort to build the infrastructure that can transform sub-Saharan African economies is...

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Frelimo will win, but real change can follow Mozambique elections

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