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In a move hailed by one oil industry executive as a “major milestone”, Petroleum Agency South Africa (Pasa) has begun processing shale gas applications received before the government imposed a licensing moratorium in February 2011. The applications relate to Chevron and Falcon Oil and Gas’ joint venture, Shell South Africa Upstream, and Challenger Energy’s Bundu Oil and Gas Exploration. A moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) remains in place, however, and processing the applications could take up to eight months. The regulations governing the shale industry have still to be published, despite the gazetting of technical regulations in October 2013.

South Africa
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The energy industry will predictably express concern at the prospect for the reforms and investor-friendly policies promoted with increasing vigour since Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour became head of state energy giant Sonatrach in 2017. Buffeted by years of crisis that stalled critical oil and gas projects, it is unlikely any incoming government will wittingly do harm to the Algerian economy’s main source of revenue, but more change seems inevitable.

Algeria
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UK-based developer Globeleq and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development-owned Industrial Promotion Services (West Africa) announced on 7 March that they had signed an amended concession agreement with the government for a 250MW expansion to the Azito gas power plant near Abidjan. Financial close is expected in June 2019.Alongside the expansion, a technical upgrade being implemented this year will add 30MW to the existing 430MW, meaning that the expanded facility will generate 710MW, or around 30% of Côte d’Ivoire’s installed capacity.

Côte d'Ivoire
Issue 391 - 03 May 2019

Benin: Gas supply tender

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Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique is seeking bids from experienced gas suppliers to supply gas via the West African Gas Pipeline for the 120MW Maria Gléta 2 dual-fuel power plant, which was formally inaugurated in March. The tender is funded by the Agence Française de Développement.

Benin
Issue 391 - 03 May 2019

Oxy counterbid for Anadarko

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US independent Occidental Petroleum has tabled a rival bid for Anadarko Petroleum, valuing the company at $57bn. While the focus of attention is still Anadarko’s US Permian shale assets, Oxy’s $76/share cash and shares bid is significantly higher than Chevron’s $65/share offer. Anadarko rejected an earlier approach from Occidental in early April, opting to accept Chevron’s lower bid. In its Q1 results, Anadarko said it was still on track for a final investment decision on the Mozambique liquefied natural gas project in H1 this year.

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ASX-listed Invictus Energy and Sable Chemical Industries have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for gas supply from the Cabora Bassa project in Zimbabwe subject to a commercial discovery being made. Sable is the sole manufacturer of agriculture grade ammonium nitrate fertiliser in Zimbabwe and a potentially large gas consumer.

Zimbabwe
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Jersey-based Predator Oil & Gas Holdings has announced that Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (Onhym) has accepted its licence application for Guercif permits I-IV. The four onshore permits cover an area of 7,269km² east of the Gharb Basin gas fields and north-west of Sound Energy’s Tendrara gas project. The licence will be formally awarded once Predator has provided a bank guarantee, the company said. Predator will operate the licence through its wholly owned subsidiary Predator Gas Ventures with 75%, while Onhym will hold the other 25%.

Morocco
Issue 393 - 31 May 2019

Senegal: CCGT study

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The World Bank is seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) from consultants for a feasibility study for a 400MW combined-cycle gas turbine plant. The study will assess the technical viability of installing the plant, including studies relating to sizing and appropriate financing scenarios, up to the development of an implementation plan for the tender process.

Senegal
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Axxela Limited, the former Oando Gas & Power, announced on 6 December that it had signed a gas transportation agreement with the West African Gas Pipeline Company (Wapco) to transport over 15mcf/d of natural gas via the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) to Lomé. The gas is expected to be supplied to the 100MW ContourGlobal thermal power plant. The transportation deal follows a gas supply agreement signed on 8 June with Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo (CEET).

Nigeria | Togo
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Eni’s gas discovery at the Nour North Sinai concession about 50km offshore Sinai will revive speculation that the company could soon be developing another large gas field similar in scale to Zohr, the deep-water field which transformed the prospects of Egypt’s upstream sector when it was found in 2015. On 14 March, Eni said that its Nour-1 wildcat well had intersected 33 metres of gross sandstone pay with good petrophysical properties and an estimated gas column of 90 metres in the Oligocene Tineh formation.

Egypt
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Egypt’s role in brokering the 21 May ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has refocused attention on the two countries’ energy relations. It showed Cairo enjoying renewed relevance in both Washington and Tel Aviv, and potentially seeking to capitalise through commercial side-benefits.

Egypt
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Algeria has long been a major gas flarer but time may be running out for the practice as the EU moves to enforce its carbon border adjustment mechanism, writes Ajay Ubhi. Algeria’s consistently high level of gas flaring could start to threaten its gas export market to the Europe once the European Union’s carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) comes into force.

Algeria
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Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) managing director James Mataragio has told African Energy that talks on a host government agreement for the estimated $30bn Tanzania liquified natural gas (LNG) project being spearheaded by Equinor and Shell will resume this month.

Tanzania
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Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) appears to have decided to retain its 15% stake in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop) and not to exercise an option to reduce its holding to 5% in the project, which is expected to come to the international market for debt finance later this year

Tanzania
Subscriber

LNG projects have faced a buffeting amid the security crisis in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region. While the timeline for Eni’s 3.4m t/yr Coral South floating LNG project looks robust, bigger schemes face further delays as a shaken gas sector takes account of an insurgency that can no longer be ignored – and which also poses questions about stability in southern Tanzania as a new leadership there makes soothing noises about investment, write James Gavin and Marc Howard.

Mozambique