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Has a new trend of co-operation replaced confrontation in the management of maritime borders in north-west Africa? Morocco and Spain are synchronising controversial exploration around the popular holiday destination of the Canary Islands, separating their interests by a ‘courtesy corridor’ inside which neither country can operate. Libya and Malta have also decided to jointly explore the disputed area of the Medina Bank. The Canaries archipelago could contain up to 1.4bn bbls of oil in fields capable of producing up to 140,000 b/d. The islands’ President Paulino Rivero has previously criticised Spanish central government plans to explore near Lanzarote and Fuerteventura as incompatible with tourism on the islands.

Morocco
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African Energy’s Atlas 2010 charts patterns of activity in key sectors of the continent’s energy industry in maps and analysis that give an overview of recent developments and look ahead to trends in 2010 and beyond. The project has been led by cartographer David Burles, news editor Thalia Griffiths and publishing director Nick Carn

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South Africa’s SacOil and Nigeria’s Energy Equity Resources on 22 April announced a memorandum of understanding with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to explore oil and gas opportunities in Nigeria, plus a 12-month term contract for the purchase of Nigerian crude.The two companies have established a joint venture called SacOil Energy Equity Resources Limited (SEER), which is the contracting party to the agreement for the sale and purchase of Nigerian crude with NNPC.

Nigeria
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On 20 March, Noureddine Bouterfa announced that he had dismissed Sonatrach chairman and chief executive (PDG) Amine Mazouzi following a meeting of the company’s board. In his place he appointed Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, the former PDG of Brown & Root Condor (BRC) who almost exactly a decade ago was being held under court supervision pending further inquiries into a major corruption scandal at BRC, then a joint venture between Sonatrach and Halliburton.

Algeria
Issue 292 - 15 January 2015

Uganda: World Bank considers grid loan

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The World Bank Group is considering a $100m International Development Association loan to support government plans to develop the national grid. The grid expansion and reinforcement project (Gerp) supports developments under the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) grid investment plan, which the World Bank estimates will require around $2bn of investment in the transmission network between 2013 and 2020. The Gerp will complement the $130m Uganda Energy for Rural Transformation III electricity distribution project, which is set to go before the World Bank board by June. The Gerp is expected to go before the board in October.

Uganda
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Ruling Patriotic Front (PF) candidate Edgar Lungu has won the 20 January presidential election that followed the death of former leader Michael Sata. On a turnout of just 32%, Lungu narrowly beat rival Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND), taking 48.3% of the vote to Hichilema’s 46.7%. The former defence and justice minister has pledged to continue the development projects that began under his predecessor, with the power sector to remain a critical component of the government’s development plan.

Zambia
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London’s Commercial Court has upheld a $536m award in favour of Norway’s Statoil and against Algeria’s Sonatrach in a dispute over the non-delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ruling is a further embarrassment to Sonatrach after a year in which it has lost a series of arbitrations with gas offtakers, mostly related to pricing. At first sight, the ruling appears to confirm concerns about Algeria’s ability to meet its international gas supply commitments. However, a closer analysis shows that the dispute is also the result of dysfunctional management at the most senior level in both Sonatrach and the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

Algeria
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Total has given France’s Technip two contracts for flexible pipes for the Egina field development. The contracts cover the supply of 12 dynamic flexible jumpers from 3.5ins to 12.5ins for oil production, gas lift, water injection and gas export, to connect the single top tension risers to the floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO); and two 20.5ins unbonded flexible pipes as oil offloading lines connecting the FPSO to the offloading buoy, as well as associated ancillary equipment.

Nigeria
Free

The South African government’s decision to remove its mandate from AES Corporation to develop a long-awaited independent power project (see Power, above), and the rising number of warnings to markets by companies with southern African operations of the potential for losses of earnings due to outages, shows the crisis in the regional electricity supply industry

South Africa
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South African Development Community (SADC) energy ministers met in Johannesburg on 24 July to express concern at the region’s estimated 8,247MW generation shortfall, while noting that 1,999MW had been brought on line in 2014 from new plants or rehabilitation.Of the 2014 additions, 150MW was commissioned in Angola, 150MW in Mozambique, 1,654MW in South Africa and 245MW in Zambia. Some 83% of new capacity was from renewable sources, predominantly in South Africa.

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Libya’s independent national audit authority has cancelled two power plant construction contracts worth $700m awarded by General Electric Company of Libya (Gecol) to Siemens and Turkey’s Enka Teknik in December because of irregularities in both the financing and the tender. African Energy understands that a powerful Tripoli-based militia may also have threatened violence to prevent the financing documents from being signed.

Libya
Issue 239 - 20 September 2012

Eve and Max reverse into Tangiers

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Former Woodside Energy vice president Eve Howell, who formed exploration company EMR Resources last year with Max de Vietri and Colombian geologist Ricardo Garzon, has been named as chief executive of Tangiers Petroleum, giving the new vehicle access to stock market listings in Australia and London.

Morocco
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Bowleven’s new board has announced a strategic review amid confusion following the removal of chief executive Kevin Hart and four directors on 14 March (AE 342/1). A company statement said options included farm-outs, asset sales or a merger or sale to a third party. Activist shareholder Crown Ocean Capital has called another shareholders’ meeting with the aim of removing chairman Billy Allan and appointing two further directors, Panoro Energy’s non-executive chairman, Julien Balkany, and former Petroceltic managing director Egypt, Bulgaria & Italy Didier Lechartier.

Cameroon
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Following concessions on the pricing of Algerian gas taken by Tunisia through the Trans-Mediterranean Gas Pipeline, Sonatrach and Société Tunisienne d’Electricité et de Gaz (Steg) have agreed to renew their offtake agreement through to 2027, with a possible extension of the contract to 2029. Unlike recent agreements with European clients, which have involved lower liftings, Sonatrach on 17 June said the draft agreement anticipated a 20% rise in the contracted volumes to be taken from 2025, “with a view to securing the expected increase in consumption in this strategic market”.

Algeria | Tunisia
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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 energy-hungry Ghana’s largest private power scheme, accounting for some 10% of total installed capacity and 20% of available thermal generation capacity. Dutch development agency FMO contributed $200m, the rest was private equity and debt, including $425m of commercial debt raised by Rand Merchant Bank with South African export credit agency backing.

Ghana