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Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is to take over the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) to create a new gas subsidiary as part of its expansion plans, finance minister Seth Terkper told parliament on 19 November.The minister said the consolidation would reduce the financing conditions imposed by investors. He said the government planned to appoint a transaction adviser for the process and ask them to advise on integrating the Tema Oil Refinery and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company.

Ghana
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Several high-profile government figures have been dismissed over a new power sector corruption scandal set to overshadow the contest for the leadership of incumbent party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and ensure corruption remains top of the agenda in the run-up to October’s elections. The scandal centres on payments to Pan Africa Power Solutions Tanzania, owned by controversial businessman Harbinder Singh Sethi, from TSh200bn ($124m) held in an escrow account at the central bank. Sethi claimed to have purchased a 70% stake in Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL), a 100MW gas-fired power plant, from Malaysia’s Mechmar Corporation, which is now in administration.

Tanzania
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South Africa is close to first gas from the Project Ikhwezi development on Block 9, which aims to add more gas to extend the life of the Mossel Bay gas-to-liquids refinery. State oil company PetroSA is developing the F-O field, 40km south-east of the F-A production platform off the south coast. PetroSA acting vice-president new ventures upstream Andrew Dippenaar told Global Pacific & Partners’ Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town on 7 November the project involved drilling five long-reach horizontal wells into a high-temperature, high-pressure reservoir. “Once we have those fields on production, there is some potential opportunity for discovered fields” to the east, he said

South Africa
Free

Missouri American Energy (MEA), part of US-based Onwa Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government for a 250MW gas power plant in Rivers State, Onwa Group chief executive Henry Iwenofu has confirmed to African Energy. MEA will be the lead developer of the project and expects to negotiate a gas supply agreement with Shell. Iwenofu said the company was in discussions with partners to bring the project forward. Onwa Group is a management consulting firm established in 2012 with offices in St Louis, Missouri and Abuja.

Nigeria
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The connection between the Jubilee floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel and the Atuabo gas plant was completed on 7 November, allowing gas to be exported to the plant and commissioning to start. Upstream operator Tullow Oil said the plant was expected to become fully operational towards year-end, which would allow gas to be evacuated from the FPSO and significantly reduce the need for re-injection. “However, due to the substantial quantity of gas injected into the reservoir since first oil in 2010, it is anticipated that the increase of Jubilee oil production will be gradual and is expected to take until Q4 2015 to reach the facility capacity of 120,000 b/d,” Tullow said in an interim management statement (IMS) on 12 November.

Ghana
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The 8.8MW Mainland independent power project was commissioned on 30 October by Lagos State governor Babatunde Fashola. Developed through a public/private partnership between the state government and a consortium of Mainland Power, CET Power and Solad Electric, the plant operates using 5.8MW powered by natural gas and 3MW standby using diesel. It will supply a number of institutional buildings including Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and Area F Police Command, as well as 20km of street lighting. There will be the possibility of transferring ownership to the state government after ten years of operation; there is also an option to expand generation to 25MW.

Nigeria
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Ophir Energy has announced a successful drill stem test (DST) on the Fortuna-2 well on Block R. The Fortuna field is expected to form the first phase of a planned floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) development. The DST achieved a sustained flow rate of 60mcf/d with a drawdown of less than 20psi at the reservoir. However this rate was surface equipment constrained, and based on the expected operating conditions of the FLNG facility, Ophir estimates it could deliver 180mcf/d via the 5” drill pipe used for the DST.

Equatorial Guinea
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The government has included anti-bribery provisions in four out of six petroleum agreements (PAs) currently before parliament for approval. “We are encouraged that PAs for the first time in Ghana’s history contain provisions that shun corruption especially through bribery or any inducement of public officials, politicians and political parties,” the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (Acep) think tank said in a statement. A new clause requires companies to certify compliance with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, and the anti-bribery convention of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Ghana
Issue 284 - 12 September 2014

Egypt: BP, Eni start up Deka project

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Eni and BP have started production from the Deka project in the Temsah concession in the Nile Delta. Eni said on 21 August that the joint venture had brought on stream the Denise South 6 well, at a rate of 1.8mcm/d of gas, and 800 b/d of condensates. Denise South 6 is the first development well of the project, and located some 65km north of Port Said, in 100 metres water depth. The Deka project envisages the development of gas discoveries through the drilling of five subsea wells

Egypt
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Cenpower Generation Company Limited has announced the financial close of $900m of project finance for the Kpone independent power plant (IPP) at Tema. The 340MW combined cycle gas turbine plant is due on stream in 2017 and will be Ghana’s largest IPP, accounting for some 10% of total installed capacity and 20% of available thermal generation capacity. The project finance comprises two components: a $650m debt tranche and a $250m equity tranche. The debt is being funded under export credit cover by a consortium of South African commercial banks and international development finance institutions (DFIs).

Ghana
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ContourGlobal has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Senelec for a new plant at the Cap des Biches site in Dakar. The agreement was signed at the Senegalese embassy in Washington on the eve of the US-Africa summit. ContourGlobal will invest €85m ($113m) to rehabilitate the site and build, own and operate a 53MW thermal plant running on heavy fuel oil and natural gas. According to the company, when completed in 2015, it will be the lowest cost liquid fuel and natural gas-fired power plant in Senegal.

Senegal
Issue 283 - 09 August 2014

Afren suspends top team over payments

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London-listed Afren on 30 July announced the suspension of chief executive Osman Shahenshah and chief operating officer Shahid Ullah, pending an investigation of unauthorised payments received by them. Afren said in a statement the payments were uncovered by an independent review carried out on the board’s behalf by law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher “of the potential need for disclosure of certain previous transactions to the market”. The statement added: “These payments were not made by the company. The investigation has not found any evidence that any other board members were involved.”

Subscriber

Ophir Energy has announced a gas discovery with the Silenus East-1 well in Block R and has expanded the size of its proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to 3m t/yr from 2.5m t/yr. The Silenus East-1 well was drilled by the Vantage Titanium Explorer drillship within the thrust belt area of Block R. Ophir is planning to produce gas from the block via a floating LNG (FLNG) scheme. “The Silenus East well result has confirmed sufficient incremental volumes for Ophir to be able to expand the Block R FLNG project from a 2.5m t/yr to a 3.0m t/yr project. This is important in that it provides economies of scale that increase the value of this already economic project,” said chief executive Nick Cooper.

Equatorial Guinea
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Despite Egypt’s continued political instability, a consortium of Italy’s Maire Tecnimont and the Netherlands’ Archirodon Group has signed a contract worth up to $1.95bn with Carbon Holdings for utilities and offsite facilities as part of the Tahrir petrochemical complex in Ain Sokhna. Carbon Holdings, founded by Basil El-Baz, is a privately owned Egyptian company which develops and operates downstream oil and gas projects. On completion, the Tahrir complex is expected to boost Egypt’s annual exports by more than 25%. The contract is for engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning activities worth between $1.7bn and $1.9bn.

Egypt
Issue 275 - 15 April 2014

Angola: ALNG at 50 percent capacity

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Chevron says the Angola Liquefied Natural Gas (ALNG) plant is running at around 50 percent capacity and has shipped three LNG and two liquefied petroleum gas cargoes so far this year. Chevron said the variable composition of the plant’s associated gas supply had affected its initial performance. The company said in its annual report that it expected the plant to remain at about 50% capacity until permanent modifications could be completed in 2015, allowing ALNG to consistently produce at its full capacity of 180,000 boe/d.

Angola