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Companies including Apache and Transglobe are being allowed to merge multiple concessions into larger entities in a bid to cut costs. A sharp decline in crude production has driven the Egyptian authorities to take steps to fix long-standing problems which make it impossible for many mature oil concessions to operate profitably. International oil companies (IOCs) are expected to benefit from the anticipated improved terms and greater efficiencies, writes John Hamilton

Egypt
Issue 446 - 24 September 2021

Mauritania/Region: New survey for TGS

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 TGS in mid-September announced the start of a new survey in the MSGBC Basin, offshore Mauritania, continuing the Norwegian seismic specialist’s operations in the region.

Mauritania
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London AIM-listed Savannah Energy will spend at least $626m acquiring Petronas and ExxonMobil’s upstream and midstream assets in Chad and Cameroon, completing a process first signalled on 2 June when the company said it was in advanced discussions with ExxonMobil for the portfolio.

Cameroon | Chad
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Kenya has vowed not to abide by an International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgement issued on 12 October that found in favour of Somalia’s claim to a contested sea area covering more than 100,000km2 and which contains oil and gas reserves.

Kenya | Somalia
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Tullow Oil’s investors will raise some cheer at the financials posted in mid-September, with the leadership of chief executive Rahul Dhir concentrating on doubling down on its West African assets.

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President Tshisekedi is seeking to make waves in upstream oil policy, just as he has in the power and mining sectors since breaking away from his alliance with Joseph Kabila. With the Kabila legacy in question over the controversial Albertine Graben fields, more legal disputes could beckon, but the government sees considerable investment upside, despite the outlook for hydrocarbons looking very different from a decade ago, writes François Misser

DR Congo
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President Félix Tshisekedi’s efforts to revive Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s attraction to international oil companies (IOCs) are admirable on paper, as are his efforts to revive – and bring improved governance to – the crucial energy and mining sectors. Having broken with his alliance of convenience with ex-president Joseph Kabila, Tshisekedi’s government is looking for takers for blocks 1 and 2 in the Albertine Graben, and there is talk of a new licensing round, with plans to tender for 16 oil and three gas blocks in the onshore Atlantic basin, Cuvette Centrale and the western Rift Valley.

DR Congo
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Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which under the recently-passed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is being turned into Nigerian National Petroleum Company, is starting to turn its attention to new domestic frontiers, amid opposition from some in the south.

Nigeria
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Recent developments in East Africa’s upstream has focused on a series of interlinked developments in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, where schemes such as the Lake Albert oil project are making slow if steady headway, writes James Gavin.

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Canada’s ReconAfrica confirmed on 7 July that it had been granted a permit to shoot  2D seismic in the Kavango Basin. ReconAfrica and the state National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) are now preparing for an initial 450km 2D seismic programme.

Namibia
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Ghana’s reputation as a donor/investor darling has taken many knocks, and more court battles are expected as international arbitration beckons in the battle between Eni and its local partner, writes James Gavin.

Ghana
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The extent the Algerian oil and gas industry needs the fillip the revised hydrocarbons law is expected to offer was underlined by Sonatrach’s figures for 2020, which showed export revenue had fallen to around $20bn, 39% down on 2019. The state giant’s group performance director Mohammed Rochdi Boutaleb put the slump down to Covid-19 and the consequent sharp cut in investment.

Algeria
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A dispute over maritime rights between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in Corisco Bay is heading for the courts, with implications for the exploration and development of hydrocarbons resources. The dispute between the two countries dates back to the early 1970s and centres on three uninhabited islands, Mbanié and the two tiny neighbouring islets of Conga and Les Cocotiers, which both sides claim.

Equatorial Guinea | Gabon
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A keystone of Libya’s oil and gas industry for the past seven years, National Oil Corporation chairman Mustafa Sanalla is under intense pressure, with his position weakened by further deterioration in an antagonistic relationship with oil minister Mohammed Aoun and demands for his dismissal from leaders of the Cyrenaica-based House of Representatives. It comes at a time when Libya is ill-prepared for any disruption to its main source of foreign currency revenues, writes John Hamilton.

Libya
Issue 441 - 24 June 2021

Sudan: Output boost

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Khartoum is planning to boost production from domestic oil and gas fields to supply local power plants, energy and petroleum minister Gadein Ali Obeid told African Energy during an online session organised by Germany’s Africa Verein on 9 June.

Sudan