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Issue 333 - 29 October 2016

Liberia: ExxonMobil to drill in November

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Operator ExxonMobil has said it plans to begin drilling its first well offshore Liberia in November (AE 309/13). The Mesurado-1 well on Block LB-13 will target Cretaceous Santonian-age reservoirs. Operations will be based out of Abidjan, in neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire. ExxonMobil farmed into the block in 2013, taking 83%, but drilling was delayed by the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in 2014. The other 17% is held by Canadian Overseas Petroleum, which is carried by Exxon for its share of the first $120m of drilling costs.

Liberia
Issue 387 - 28 February 2019

Kosmos to sell down part of Tortue stake

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Kosmos Energy says it plans to reduce its stake in the Tortue gas development to around 10%. “Kosmos has discovered a significant and valuable resource in Mauritania and Senegal and the final investment decision of the Tortue project in December 2018 has created a value inflection point. Following interest from multiple third parties, Kosmos intends to sell down its position to ~10%,” the company said in a capital markets day presentation on 25 February.

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Algeria’s electricity and gas sector regulator has published the final regulation needed to allow the development of independent power projects (IPPs) in the renewables sector. On 30 November, the Commission for Regulation of Electricity and Gas (Creg) released a draft power purchase agreement for wind and solar projects. This is the culmination of a lengthy process of policy-making. Creg published the feed-in-tariff rates in April 2014 and other regulations in August 2013. Adel Baba-Aissa, director of UK-based advisory and project development company Renewable Energy Partner described the publication as “an exciting development – one that will kick-start the private IPP renewable energy market in Algeria”.

Algeria
Issue 333 - 29 October 2016

Kenya: Essel Group raises Simba stake

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Essel Group Middle East (EGME) has exercised 17m warrants in Simba Energy, increasing its shareholding to 21.3%. Proceeds will be used to retire remaining debt in Simba and for working capital purposes. EGME said it planned to exercise a further 16.96m warrants in the near future, which would increase its stake to 24.49%. Essel Group, a conglomerate whose interests are mainly in television and packaging, farmed into Kenya’s Block 2A in 2015, with an agreement to earn a 60% stake by funding two wells.

Kenya
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The Milan Public Prosecutor’s office has placed Royal Dutch Shell under formal investigation for international corruption offences relating to its purchase of OPL 245 in Nigeria. Shell’s headquarters in The Hague were searched on 17 February by Italian and Dutch financial police. The investigation relates to the sale in 2011 to Shell and Eni of the block, which contains the Etan and Zabazaba fields. The companies paid $1.1bn, plus a signature bonus of $200m, to the Nigerian government, which in a back-to-back deal negotiated by the attorney general then transferred $1.1bn to Malabu Oil & Gas, a company owned by former oil minister Dan Etete, to which he had granted rights to the acreage in 1998.

Nigeria
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Germany’s RWE Dea has signed a gas sales agreement with Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) to deliver natural gas to the domestic market from its North Idku offshore concession in the Nile Delta.

Egypt
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Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Toyota Tsusho Corporation have secured a contract from the Upper Egypt Electricity Production Company for the turnkey supply of equipment for the 1,950MW Helwan South power plant on the Nile River. The order, announced on 26 June, will entail the design, supply, installation and commissioning of supercritical pressure steam turbines, generators and condensers for the project’s three 650MW units. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

Egypt
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UK private company Surestream Petroleum has just been awarded Burundi Block B, on the north-east side of Lake Tanganyika, in addition to Block D which it already holds. Surestream, which sponsors the Burundi national football team, was founded in

Burundi
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On 18 April, President John Dramani Mahama inaugurated the first unit of the Sunon Asogli gas plant expansion, which will add 180MW to the grid initially and 360MW once it is converted to combined-cycle operation. Phase one of the Asogli power plant was completed in 2010 but has had problems with unreliable gas supply from the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP).

Ghana
Issue 397 - 26 July 2019

Ghana: Deep-water developments

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Aker Energy has attracted a $100m investment from Lagos-Based Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) as it prepares to develop the Pecan field on the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) Block. AFC bought $100m of convertible bond notes with a commitment to participate in follow-on fundraising activities. The funds will be used by Aker Energy to finance the Pecan development, and AFC has also received equity warrants with the right to subscribe to shares in Aker Energy in future equity offerings.

Ghana
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There is a growing international effort to revitalise the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) as a key element in getting cross-border projects with a big regional impact off the ground. The World Bank is preparing a project to facilitate priority energy projects in the SAPP region. And the US Power Africa initiative – which is gaining momentum across the continent – has also made building up regional pools a priority. It is putting transaction advisers – embedded specialist consultants – into the SAPP, East African Power Pool (EAPP) and West African Power Pool (WAPP).

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South Africa’s Megamillion Energy Company is aiming for its lithium-ion battery production pilot plant to begin operating in H2 2020. The site for the plant, which will initially be able to produce 0.25GWh/yr of batteries, has yet to be determined, with Coega Industrial Development Zone in the Eastern Cape the most likely location.

South Africa
Issue 191 - 23 July 2010

Soco drills, farms out to Inpex

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Soco Exploration & Production DRC has agreed to farm out a 20% interest in the onshore Nganzi Block to Japan’s Inpex Corporation. Drilling has begun on the first well, Nganga, in a three-well exploration drilling programme.

DR Congo
Subscriber

Despite efforts to shore up the oil price, oil majors are slashing capital expenditure, including cutting and cancelling planned spending in Africa, while independents are fighting for financial survival.The breakeven price for existing oil production in leading exporters Nigeria and Angola is $29/barrel and $32/barrel respectively, but these prices have not been reached despite a US-brokered agreement on 12 April between Saudi Arabia, Russia and other Opec+ producers to call off a disastrous price war.

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Mineworkers’ pension fund The Metal Industries Benefit Funds Administrators (Mibfa) intends to invest R1bn ($112m) in projects bidding in South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producers procurement programme. The fund will provide debt finance to 10-15 solar or wind projects, administered by asset manager Mergence Investment Managers.

South Africa