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Commentators were stunned by Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23) leader General Bosco Ntaganda’s decision to leave his haunts in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, presenting himself on 18 March at the US embassy in Kigali, where he asked to be transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. For Ntaganda, apparently, the prospect of facing trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity is preferable to continuing his conflict with President Joseph Kabila Kabange’s administration in Kinshasa or facing the wrath of his former Rwandan ally President Paul Kagame. The warlord’s move prompted speculation that an elusive peace deal between the DRC government and M23 might be forthcoming. However, peace with M23 provides no guarantee that DRC’s oil sector can quickly fulfil its promise.

Congo Brazzaville
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Eni announced on 9 May that it had completed the ramp-up of the Ochigufu field on Block 15/06 of Angola’s deep offshore, reaching the production plateau of 24,000 b/d. The field started up on 16 March and allows Eni’s operated production from block 15/06 to stabilise above 150,000 b/d, in line with a goal of adding 54,000 b/d to the block’s production by 2019.

Angola
Issue 287 - 27 October 2014

Senegal: Cairn discovery

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Cairn Energy has announced an oil discovery with the FAN-1 well on the Sangomar Deep block. The well was drilled to 4,927 metres in 1,427 metres water depth and found 29 metres of oil bearing reservoir (AE 284/18). Once operations are completed on the FAN-1 well, the rig will move to complete the second well, SNE-1 where the top hole has been drilled pending re-entry. The FAN-1 well was drilled using the semi-submersible drilling unit Cajun Express. It is the third well in Cairn’s North West Africa programme and first in Senegal.

Senegal
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The semisubmersible Transocean Marianas has been contracted by PetroSA for four wells starting in May. The rig, which can drill at depths of up to 9,100 metres, will be working at a day rate of $370,000 until March 2015, Transocean said in its latest fleet status report. The rig has been idle in Cape Town harbour since drilling three non-commercial wells offshore Namibia for Brazil’s HRT last year.

South Africa
Issue 392 - 17 May 2019

Senegal: SNE drilling contracts

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Woodside Energy has secured contracts with Diamond Offshore Drilling for two drillships to work on the SNE field development offshore Senegal. Diamond’s Q1 rig status report said the Ocean BlackRhino had been contracted from Q4 2020 to Q4 2023, while the Ocean BlackHawk had been contracted from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023.

Senegal
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Among those counting on the incoming government maintaining stability are the international oil companies (IOCs) that have made Angola Africa’s leading oil exporter. IOCs produced 96.7% of the total average 1.72m b/d output in 2016, according to Sonangol’s 2016 annual report. French major Total’s large holding of operated blocks gave its assets by far the biggest overall production, 229.36m bbls out of a total 630.11m bbls of crude oil output last year, which was 3% lower than in 2015.

Angola
Issue 199 - 03 December 2010

El Merk on track for end-2011 start-up

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Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s El Merk project continues to aim for first production around the end of 2011

Algeria
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The issue of land ownership is a major factor in the Ugandan oil and politics equation. During the grilling of National Resistance Movement grandees in parliament on 12 October, Buliisa MP Stephen Biraahwa Mukitale named a senior agent of the government’s Internal Security Organisation, Major Herbert Asiimwe Muramagi, as one of those accused by locals of attempting to illegally acquire land near the Taitai well in Kigorobya.

Uganda
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The Council of Ministers on 3 February reviewed a host of measures related both to the recent unrest in the country and also to economic development. Among the dozens of decisions came the approval of four presidential decrees on oil and gas exploration. Included in these decrees are measures that will inch forwards developments

Algeria
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Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has agreed to pay out $84m to residents of the Bodo community for two of the Niger Delta’s largest oil spills, which took place in 2008 and 2009. Some $54m of the settlement will go to around 15,600 fisherman, while the remaining $30m will be left for the community. Outgoing SPDC managing director Mutiu Sunmonu said the company accepted responsibility for the spills, both of which SPDC admits were caused by operational failures of the pipelines.

Nigeria
Issue 257 - 28 June 2013

New head for DPR

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Former Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) head George Abiodun Osahon has been named director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) following the dismissal of Osten Olorunsola on 20 June. No explanation has yet been given for the unexpected sacking of Olorunsola, who was the vice president of Shell Upstream International commercial gas and power businesses for sub-Saharan Africa before being appointed DPR director in November 2011, but this is one of many oil sector management changes since President Goodluck Jonathan took office in 2010.

Nigeria
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Tullow Oil’s sale of two-thirds of its Uganda assets to Total and CNOOC has finally been completed. The long-awaited $2.9bn deal, which was initially announced in 2010, follows the recent signing of new production- sharing agreements between Tullow and the government and the granting of the Kingfisher production licence (AE 225/1). It is expected that early small-scale oil and gas production for the local power market will start in 2013 from the Nzizi, Mputa and Waraga fields in the Kaiso-Tonya area, with the partners now anticipating that major production from the Lake Albert Basin will start in 2016. A basin-wide plan of development will be put before the government for approval later this year.

Uganda
Issue 205 - 18 March 2011

IOCs face uncertain future

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Colonel Muammar Qadhafi met the ambassadors of Russia, China and India on 13 March, inviting oil companies from their countries to invest in Libya. This a clear threat that companies from countries backing the rebellion will be punished if he regains control. He made a similar proposal to the Russian and Chinese ambassadors in September 2009 after a US State Department official

Libya
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Royal Dutch Shell’s bid for Cove Energy, which looked like a done deal when it was announced, has attracted a counter-bid from Thailand’s PTT, suggesting the price could go still higher

Mozambique
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Kenya is gearing up for its own East African energy boom following Tullow’s Ngamia discovery, but negotiating and building regional production infrastructure is likely to present a major challenge, writes Thalia Griffiths

Kenya