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Issue 222 - 16 December 2011

Dominion plans seismic on Block 7


Dominion Petroleum, which is being acquired by Ophir Energy, plans to acquire 2D seismic on offshore Block 7 in early 2012. Mubadala Oil & Gas farmed

Kenya | Tanzania
Issue 317 - 11 February 2016

Tanzania: Bowleven drops Aminex farm-in


AIM-listed Aminex has been unable to agree terms for a planned farm-out to Edinburgh-based Bowleven. “In discussions during the due diligence process, a forward work programme could not be agreed which would be acceptable to Aminex, its lender, the Tanzanian authorities and Solo Oil plc,” Aminex said in a statement. The London-based company signed a gas sales agreement for the Kiliwani North field in January, and said on 1 February the well was undergoing final well integrity testing before first production expected in mid-February.


Crude oil production in Tunisia’s southern fields has resumed after a hiatus of nearly four months, following an agreement between the government and the local Kamour Movement protest group, which on 16 July began a sit-in blockade of the El Kamour processing plant that serves fields in Tataouine and other southern governorates. Mainly by closing the key SP4 pumping station, the government calculates the El Kamour stand-off – over local frustrations at lack of jobs and other benefits coming from fields that represent around 42% of national crude production and 37% of natural gas – has cost around TD374m ($137m).

Issue 423 - 24 September 2020

Gambia: PetroNor settles arbitration


Oslo-listed PetroNor has reached an out-of-court settlement with the government of Gambia on its dispute over the licences for blocks A1 and A4. African Petroleum, which merged with PetroNor in 2019, filed an arbitration case at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes after the government cancelled the licences and awarded A1, which lies immediately to the south of Cairn Energy’s SNE and Fan discoveries offshore Senegal, to BP.


The Algerian authorities are maintaining their business-as-usual approach, with more appointments to senior roles in the hydrocarbons industry and agreements in principle to undertake cooperation with IOCs, including ExxonMobil. But the outlook remains difficult, with state energy giant Sonatrach already barely able to produce the much lower amount of crude expected under its new Opec+ quota, of 816,000 b/d for May and June delivery.


As Sonatrach tackles the impact of Covid-19 and slumping oil prices, chairman and chief executive (PDG) Toufik Hakkar on 30 March continued his reorganisation of senior managers, with the appointment of eight new vice-presidents. Critics have questioned the credentials of several of the newVPs, pointing out that the moves could give Hakkar greater control over key departments. Few of the new VPs have a high profile. Only one VP, Fethi Arabi, maintains his old post; the rest have been promoted. Sonatrach’s VPs are now as follows:

Issue 276 - 02 May 2014

ENI: Scaroni to step down


The Italian government has named exploration and production head Claudio Descalzi to succeed Paolo Scaroni as Eni chief executive. Scaroni is stepping down after serving three terms. Descalzi is credited with heading the E&P division when it discovered huge gas resources offshore Mozambique, as well as avoiding risky ventures in unconventional resources such as shale and oil sands.


Tullow’s new chief executive has outlined a plan to turn around the company’s fortunes with a focus on generating cash from its core producing assets in West Africa. The company says it can generate $7bn over the next decade to raise production and pay down debt, writes Thalia Griffiths.


Chariot Oil & Gas says it has received non-binding expression of interest (EOI) letters from the Africa Finance Corporation and a multinational investment bank to finance the Anchois gas development project on the Lixus licence. AFC has offered development debt finance, while the bank has offered reserves-based lending.


Chariot Oil & Gas has conditionally raised $15m through a share placing to finance a well in Namibia’s Walvis Basin and plans to raise another €5m ($5.9m) via an open offer. Chariot plans to drill in H2 this year, though the company is still hoping to secure a partner to share the cost. The target is Prospect S on PEL 71 (blocks 2312 & 2412A), where Chariot said last year it had identified five structural prospects.

Issue 274 - 01 April 2014

Circle Oil: IFC financing


AIM-listed Circle Oil has signed a reserve-based lending facility of up to $100m with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). The facility, designed to repay existing debt and release capital for investment in new exploration and development, matures in June 2018 and is secured against Circle’s production in Egypt and Morocco. IFC will hold $50m of the facility and syndicate the remainder to a group of international and regional banks. Broker Investec said that, with financing in place, Circle could start to target some of the upside in its portfolio.

Issue 244 - 29 November 2012

Africa Oil: Private placement


East Africa player Africa Oil Corporation has announced a private placement of up to 25m shares at C$7.75/share to raise C$193.75m. The proceeds will be used to fund the company’s work programme in East Africa and for general working capital purposes.

Kenya | Ethiopia

One of the most sensitive decisions facing incoming President Hassan Sheikh Mohamed is whether to confirm Coastline Exploration’s rights over a number of highly prospective offshore oil and gas blocks. Some important and influential forces would prefer development to proceed without the Houston-based indie’s involvement, but Coastline’s management is determined to hold on.


Guinea is to launch its first offshore licensing round in 10 years, with 22 blocks up for auction. Bidding terms are understood to have been finalised for West Africa’s least developed oil and gas producer.


French independent Perenco has signed a conditional agreement to acquire the stake in Cameroon’s long-delayed Etinde gas concession held by operator New Age (African Global Energy). Others involved say the development could at last lead to a final investment decision.