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South Africa’s long-awaited Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill is due to be tabled in parliament in June, writes James Gavin South Africa’s upstream oil and gas sector could do with a boost, with production having fallen by over half since 2010 due to a lack of exploration aggravated by lower prices. Total’s offshore Luiperd natural gas discovery in 2020 – Africa’s largest find that year – has reinforced hopes for a full recovery, but the need to create fresh terms for the oil and gas sector has forced the government’s hand.

South Africa
Issue 433 - 25 February 2021

Attar out in Algerian reshuffle

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Abdelmadjid Attar has been sacked just eight months after being appointed energy minister, in a 21 February government reshuffle ordered by President Abdelmajid Tebboune. Attar has been outspoken in criticising Sonatrach’s performance and management, and delays to implementing the new hydrocarbons law.

Algeria
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A year after initial awards were first announced, minister of petroleum and mineral resources Tarek El-Molla has signed oil and gas exploration agreements with six major IOCs and their Egyptian partner Tharwa Petroleum. Seven of the agreements involving Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) are for offshore areas in the Mediterranean, while two are with South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) covering areas in the Red Sea. The ministry has said it expects to sign three more agreements soon.

Egypt
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Predator Oil and Gas Holdings reported “good gas shows” from drilling of MOU-1 in the onshore Guercif licence area in northern Morocco, adjacent to the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline. The Jersey-based company said on 6 July the results supported the pre-drill geological interpretation of a deep gas ‘kitchen’ connected to shallower reservoirs.

Morocco
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Invictus Energy is proceeding on its 80%-owned and -operated Cabora Bassa gas condensate project without a farm-in partner, the Australian independent announced on 9 July. It had been unable to complete the required due diligence on a proposed counterparty.

Zimbabwe
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After years of delay, the Petroleum Industry Bill has finally been approved by Nigeria’s parliament – albeit in different versions by the National Assembly’s two chambers. It promises substantial benefits for gas and other under-performing hydrocarbons-based industries and reforms to areas of government in profound need of overhaul. The critical question remains whether the bill is enough to galvanise the economy and industry when implementation could take many years, write Jon Marks and Ajay Ubhi

Nigeria
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London Stock Exchange-listed Predator Oil & Gas Holdings has appointed veteran petroleum engineer Lonny Baumgardner as chief operating officer. Since 2015, Baumgardner has been country manager and director-general of SDX Energy – another independent with a Morocco focus.

Subscriber

Output from the Touat gas field remains far below expected levels, according to Groupement Touat Gaz (GTG) partner Neptune Energy, as outages that have dogged the 450 mcf/d (4.5 bcm/yr) capacity scheme since its Q3 2019 start-up continue.

Algeria
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The Kaduna State government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria to supply gas to the state, which does not have a gas supply.

Nigeria
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Sonangol opened bids on 15 October for the contract to design, build, own and operate an oil refinery at Lobito in Benguela province, with a capacity to process up to 200,000 b/d. Proposals were received from five groups: Lanpec Technology (China) with International Business Development Group (US); Gemcorp Holding with Omatapalo Engenharia & Construção; HBMP General Trade and Provision of Services with Avic International Beijing and China Huanquiu Contracting & Engineering; Layher Company; and GazMin International.

Angola
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The political centre of gravity is shifting away from coal-fired plants in South Africa and Eskom hopes to use the run-in to the COP26 climate change conference in November to generate interest in its plan to retire some plants early, but much remains to be resolved if its ambitions are to be realised, writes Dan Marks.

South Africa
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We all agree: the future is necessarily based on renewable energy and storage solutions, as economies, corporations and communities work to tackle the climate crisis by achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Africa understands the need for this better than most, as vulnerable populations in regions like the Sahel suffer the consequences of global warming on their daily lives and resource distribution.

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UK-based developer Globeleq announced this month that it has acquired a 74% stake in Nigerian commercial and industrial (C&I) power company CPGNL. CGPNL was owned by Clean Energy Group, which will retain 26% of the company, and used equipment supplied by Cummins. The company will be rebranded as Globeleq Power Solutions Nigeria Ltd (GPSN). GPSN has a portfolio of 12 operating gas power plants with combined capacity of 58MW in the south of the country.

Nigeria
Free
Project bulletin

Construction at the 2.5MW Kaiha II hydropower plant in Liberia got under way in July, project deputy executive director Stephen Potter of the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency tells African Energy Live Data.

Liberia