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The award by Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) of 12 licences on 13 February saw companies extend their existing exploration interests into nearby blocks, with decisions primarily motivated by existing geological knowledge and proximity of operating infrastructure. An observer at the Egypt Petroleum Show in Cairo, where minister of petroleum Tarek El Molla announced the licences, described the mood as like a “goldrush”.

Egypt
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Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Burkina Faso to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) and build the infrastructure to import, store and transport it. Under the initial three-year agreement, both sides will negotiate an LNG sales and purchase agreement and a terminal use agreement. The MoU also calls for EG to explore and produce oil and gas in Burkina Faso.

Equatorial Guinea
Issue 287 - 27 October 2014

Mozambique: Eni signs Kogas deal

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Eni signed a co-operation agreement with Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas) on 17 October to strengthen their relationship in a number of areas, particularly in the upstream and liquefied natural gas (LNG) sectors. Eni said the agreement would allow the companies to jointly pursue opportunities worldwide. Eni and Kogas expect the co-operation agreement to facilitate the LNG development of Area 4 in Mozambique, where Eni is operator with a 50% indirect interest. Kogas, Galp Energia and the state Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos are partners in the agreement, with 10% interest each, while China National Petroleum Corporation has 20% indirect participation via a holding in Eni East Africa.

Mozambique
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The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy invites expressions of interest from consultants by 23 May to assist the ministry’s National Directorate of Hydrocarbons and Fuels (DNHC) with promoting large-scale gas and power investments. The aim is to provide the DNHC with expertise for the formulation of policies, strategies, programmes, plans, regulatory tools and legislation to promote research, development, production, transportation, storage, distribution and commercialisation of hydrocarbons.

Mozambique
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AIM-listed Sound Energy said on 18 April that a drilling rig was on the way to the Sidi Moktar licence, where it plans to re-enter two wells drilled by the previous licenceholder, Longreach Oil & Gas. Longreach discovered gas on the licence in 2014 but ran out of money before it could test the wells.The Sidi Moktar licences cover 2,700km2 in the Essaouira Basin of central Morocco close to existing infrastructure, including the state-owned Office Cherifien des Phosphates plant.

Morocco
Issue 322 - 29 April 2016

Cameroon: VOG firms up drilling plans

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Victoria Oil & Gas subsidiary Gaz du Cameroun (GDC) is preparing to drill two additional wells into the onshore Logbaba field and has signed a rig contract with Savannah Oil Services Cameroon. Drilling is planned to start in late Q2 and complete by year-end. VOG described the budget for the two-well drilling programme as “less than $40m, significantly lower than initial estimates made in 2015”.

Cameroon
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Cameroon’s second floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project has taken a step forward with the signing of a gas convention agreement between New Age LNG and the government establishing the fiscal terms for its project to produce gas from the Etinde permit. Project company CMLNG, a subsidiary of New Age LNG, will use a newbuild FLNG production vessel to process gas from Etinde. The FLNG project will be developed in conjunction with the upstream Etinde development, operated by parent company New Age (African Global Energy).

Cameroon
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The increasingly gas-focused Seven Energy has secured an additional $255m equity investment after selling 26% of the company to Singapore government-owned investment company Temasek and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). Temasek has invested $150m in return for a 15.6% stake in Seven, while the IFC committed $75m. The IFC’s African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund also invested a further $30m for Seven’s irredeemable convertible, coupon-less loan notes, which the company says are akin to equity, taking the IFC’s total share to 10.4%. The new injection of funds takes Seven Energy’s market capitalisation to almost $1bn.

Nigeria
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The mid-November visit to Algiers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan provided a backdrop for the signing of a renewed deal for Sonatrach to supply 4.4bcm/yr of liquefied natural gas to its long-standing Turkish client Botas. The two state companies extended their agreement for another ten years. Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported Erdogan as saying: “Right now, Algeria is the fourth biggest source for Turkish natural gas imports.” Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan are Turkey’s top three suppliers, piping a total of 42bcm/yr.

Algeria
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The agreement between Greece’s Metka and a body calling itself the General Authority for Electricity and Renewable Energy of Libya (Gaerel) to build a 500MW open-cycle power plant in Tobruk shows that some in eastern Libya have not given up their ambition of wresting control of vital state institutions from Tripoli. However, the politics behind the deal are confused and, without access to the budget, it is hard to see how it can go ahead. Meanwhile, the Tripoli-based General Electric Company of Libya (Gecol) has succeeded in adding new capacity and reuniting the network into a single grid.

Libya
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Azonto Petroleum plans to re-tender the construction package for the Gazelle gas project in a bid to push down costs. The Australian company said Italy’s Rosetti Marino had quoted it a higher-than-expected lump-sum price for the offshore and onshore project elements. “In order to achieve a realistic breakeven gas price, and to capitalise on current downward pressure on drilling and other construction costs, the Vioco board therefore has decided to re-tender the construction package. This will result in a delay in sanctioning the Gazelle project,” Azonto said in a 31 March statement.

Côte d'Ivoire
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The Egyptian government implemented encouraging energy sector reforms over the summer months including a further round of tariff increases and an electricity law setting out the first steps in the unbundling of the sector. Egypt’s reliance on gas-fired power generation as a short-term way of closing the gap between supply and demand looked foolhardy and expensive in June when this policy seemed destined to commit the country to much higher levels of imports.

Egypt
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Libyan oil executives presented three major upstream project proposals to IRN’s New Libya Oil & Gas Forum in London in mid-October. These were Mellitah Oil & Gas (MOG)’s offshore Bahr Essalam development, Nafusa Oil Operations’ onshore Ghadames Basin development, and Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco)’s plans for developing existing producing and non-producing fields. The country’s disastrous budget and security situation means that, in theory, none of these proposals should have any chance of advancing. National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla confirmed that all exploration programmes had been cancelled for 2015 because there is no budget for them.

Libya
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Nigeria’s Sirius Group has given Penspen a contract to conduct an engineering study for the monetisation of gas reserves from offshore oilfields in the Niger Delta. A key element of this agreement is the development of gas reserves in OML 122.The study is being conducted as part of Project Dawn, a three-year development project worth $1.2bn that includes the construction of a pipeline network to deliver natural gas to the existing Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System. Project Dawn is expected to supply 250mcf/d of natural gas under a gas sales and purchase agreement between Sirius Oilfield Support Services and Nigerian Gas Company, a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Nigeria
Free

Eni’s board of directors has approved the investment for the first phase development of the Coral gas discovery in Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin. The approval is a key step towards the final investment decision (FID) on the Coral South project, which will become effective once all the Area 4 partners have approved it and the project financing, which is being finalised, has been agreed. The project involves the construction of six subsea wells connected to a floating production facility with a liquefaction capacity of over 3.3m t/yr of liquefied natural gas (LNG), equivalent to 5bcm.

Mozambique