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Issue 283 - 09 August 2014

Afren suspends top team over payments


London-listed Afren on 30 July announced the suspension of chief executive Osman Shahenshah and chief operating officer Shahid Ullah, pending an investigation of unauthorised payments received by them. Afren said in a statement the payments were uncovered by an independent review carried out on the board’s behalf by law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher “of the potential need for disclosure of certain previous transactions to the market”. The statement added: “These payments were not made by the company. The investigation has not found any evidence that any other board members were involved.”


Eni has signed a new co-operation agreement with the Republic of Congo, stating its intention to pursue new initiatives in the Congolese coastal basin, which extends from onshore Mayombe to the deep offshore. The agreement was signed in Brazzaville by Congolese hydrocarbons minister André Raphael Loemba and Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi, in the presence of President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, during an official visit by the premier.

Congo Brazzaville

The government is expecting to tighten the terms of production-sharing contracts with international partners, seeking a larger percentage of the take while bringing PSCs into line with more ‘balanced’ joint venture arrangements. The proposal is part of a wider attempt to introduce a different kind of relationship between international oil companies (IOCs) and national governments, minister of state for petroleum Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said on the fringes of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation’s Cape VII conference on 3 April.


BHP Billiton/ArcelorMittal iron ore deal off; Egyptian minister becomes World Bank MD; Kihansi toads to return to wild

Egypt | Guinea | Liberia | Tanzania
Issue 215 - 09 September 2011

CHAD: ERHC PSC approved


Houston-based ERHC Energy has received formal government approval of its production-sharing contract signed in July for three blocks (AE 213/10).

Issue 195 - 08 October 2010

World Bank criticises Uganda


Donors’ darling Uganda has received $100m in direct budget support from the World Bank –less than in previous years amid concern over slow progress in governance reforms and a rise in corruption.

Issue 240 - 04 October 2012

Ghana: PetroSA buys Sabre


South African state oil company PetroSA has bought a stake in the Jubilee oil field, through the acquisition of Sabre Oil and Gas. PetroSA said the purchase, which has been approved by both countries’ energy ministers, follows a bidding process in which it was shortlisted with two other international oil companies (IOCs).


The governments of Tanzania and Uganda, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and Total E&P Uganda signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 12 October creating a working framework for the potential development of a crude export pipeline from Hoima to Tanga port.

Uganda | Tanzania
Issue 242 - 01 November 2012

Solar PV plant for Nouakchott


Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy developer Masdar has announced plans to develop a 15MW solar photovoltaic power project in Nouakchott. Mauritania has an installed grid capacity of just 144MW, supplied mostly by diesel generators, but there is significant untapped solar and wind potential.


After trying for years to get a deal together for a regional gas-to-power project, Tullow Oil is now considering alternative markets for gas that might be produced from Namibia’s offshore Kudu field. But power generation remains the absolute priority for NamPower, as the Namibian utility evolves its strategy to cope with the southern African electricity supply crisis, writes Thalia Griffiths.

Namibia | South Africa

The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has made an official complaint to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) about Eskom. The utility has been refusing to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs) selected by the Department of Energy to develop projects, claiming that the projects do not represent value for money. Eskom head of generation Matshela Koko on 20 October told City Press that the Treasury should be funding the cost of renewable energy through the R200bn ($14.4bn) contingent liability it took on to guarantee the renewable energy IPP procurement programme (REIPPP), rather than the costs being passed on to consumers.

South Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a €20m ($26.7m) partial risk guarantee (PRG) to support construction of a transmission line to connect the 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project in northern Kenya to the national grid near Nairobi. Issued via the Bank’s African Development Fund (ADF) concessional loans arm, the PRG is the first of its kind for the AfDB and crucially, will allow project company Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) to draw down on its long term debt, rather than relying on equity to fund construction, as has been the case until now.

Issue 196 - 22 October 2010

Zim tycoons buy up fuel marketing


A consortium led by businessman Moses Chingwena has acquired 51% of Engen Petroleum Zimbabwe, enabling Engen to buy Chevron’s Zimbabwe operations.


The depreciation of the South African rand has got some fund managers talking about the potential for a currency crisis in the country at some point during the next three years. The rand has lost around 20% of its value against the dollar, the euro and sterling over the past year, a trend linked to labour unrest, slowing mining output and disappointing macroeconomic performance. However, the coinciding of the signing of final agreements in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement (REIPPP) programme on 9 May and the most dramatic period of devaluation for the rand has not gone unnoticed.

South Africa

Total has completed the acquisition of 244km of 2D seismic over the northern part of Block III. Partner SacOil said the seismic survey did not encroach on the Virunga National Park. The next step will be to process and interpret the seismic data, and integrate the results with the previously acquired gravity and magnetic data, SacOil said.

DR Congo