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President George Weah on 16 October signed into law the amended Petroleum Act of 2019, which aims to update the 2014 law as part of efforts to revive offshore oil and gas exploration. The law increases block sizes to a maximum of 3,500km2, from 2,000km2 previously. National Oil Company of Liberia (Nocal) is working with TGS-Nopec to re-draw the blocks. The re-sized blocks will align with the Global Grid System as mandated by the Economic Community of West African States for its members, Nocal said.

Liberia
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Springfield Exploration and Production has announced that the Afina-1 well on West Cape Three Points Block 2 contains 1.5bn barrels of oil in place and 0.7tcf of gas. Afina-1, which is located at a water depth of 1,030 metres, was drilled to a total depth of 4,085 metres and encountered light oil with a gross thickness of 65 metres, with 50 metres of net light oil pay in good quality Cenomanian sandstones.

Ghana
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Vitol and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) on 17 September announced the launch of a joint venture commodity trading company, ENH Energy Trading. The company will initially be owned 51% by ENH and 49% by Vitol, but ENH’s share is expected to increase over time, a joint statement said. It will be based in Singapore to focus on marketing Mozambique’s gas to the growing Asian market.

Mozambique
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The Groupement Isarene joint operating group of Sonatrach, Petroceltic and Enel has given Petrofac an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract worth around $1bn for the Ain Tsila development project. The Ain Tsila development had run into delays following the takeover of Petroceltic by Worldview Capital Management in 2016.

Algeria
Issue 382 - 06 December 2018

Nigeria: Shell to supply gas to Aba

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Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria on 30 November signed a gas supply and aggregation agreement for the 140MW Aba power project in Abia State, Nigeria. The project has been under development for some time by Geometric Power Aba Ltd, whose chief executive is former energy minister Barth Nnaji.

Nigeria
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Eni announced on 21 August that the Zohr gas field had reached the target plateau production of 2.7bcf/d set out in the plan of development five months ahead of schedule. A second 216km, 30-inch pipeline connecting the offshore subsea production facilities to the onshore treatment plant started up on 18 August. Together with the completion and optimisation of the plant treatment capacity, the new pipeline paves the way for an increase to 3.2bcf/d by year-end, Eni said.

Egypt
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The $2bn award in favour of Unión Fenosa Gas (UFG) made by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes at the end of August means that liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the Segas terminal at Damietta could resume very soon. The Spanish company claimed that state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) breached its contract when it suspended gas supplies to the terminal in 2012. Unusually, the terminal was reliant on gas supplied by the national grid rather than production from a particular field.

Egypt
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US independent Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Drilling, partners in Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar gas fields, have teamed up with Egypt’s East Gas Company to buy a 39% stake in the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Company (EMGC) for $518m.EMGC operates a 90km pipeline connecting the Israeli pipeline network from Ashkelon to the Egyptian pipeline network near El Arish. In February, Noble signed an export deal with Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings to supply gas from the two offshore fields into the Egyptian market over ten years.

Egypt
Issue 378 - 12 October 2018

Golar, Höegh invest in small-scale LNG

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Liquefied natural gas (LNG) companies Golar LNG and Höegh LNG Holdings have each announced an investment of $24.75m in small-scale LNG venture Avenir LNG. Avenir was set up in 2017 by transportation company Stolt-Nielsen to serve the fast-growing market for small-scale LNG, including for remote areas and as a transportation fuel. The two companies will each invest $24.75m for a 25% stake in Avenir. They said the funds were part of a combined $182m commitment with Stolt-Nielsen for the project.

Issue 375 - 31 August 2018

Mozambique: Maputo CCGT inaugurated

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Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi on 22 August inaugurated the 106MW Maputo combined-cycle gas turbine power plant powered by gas from Sasol’s Pande and Temane fields. It was financed with a loan of up to Y17.269bn ($152m) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, plus $13m from the government of Mozambique. The plant includes two 40MW aero-derivative LM6000 gas turbines, developed and manufactured by General Electric and Japan’s IHI Corporation, and a 26MW steam turbine. A turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract was signed in February 2016 by Sumitomo and IHI.

Mozambique
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Ahead of becoming a gas exporter, and with increasing western and multilateral funds being targeted on the strategically sensitive Sahel region, Mauritania is attracting increasing business interest. The World Bank Group (WBG) has been advising Senegal and Mauritania on the transition to gas production and has made new commitments to social and economic developments and private sector growth. Oil major BP has bought into the Grand Tortue/Ahmeyim gasfield complex on the Mauritania-Senegal maritime border, in partnership with Kosmos Energy.

Mauritania
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AIM-listed Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG) has agreed a new partnership to develop compressed natural gas (CNG) as it seeks to broaden its customer and product base to compensate for the loss of state utility Eneo’s gas offtake. VOG said on 26 June its subsidiary Gaz du Cameroun (GDC) had entered into an exclusive agreement to partner with Turkey’s Naturelgaz Sanayi ve Ticaret, Europe’s largest CNG supplier and distributor. Naturelgaz is a 93.7%-owned subsidiary of Turkey’s Global Investment Holdings, which focuses on clean tech and infrastructure investment.

Cameroon
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The Algerian authorities have continued to sign new deals in the upstream and downstream sectors while advancing their more controversial agenda of exploiting shale resources despite public opposition. Preparations are building for a policy announcement in December which could open the way to further developments next year. On 7 October, Sonatrach, Total and Repsol completed their agreements to jointly develop the Erg Issouane gas field and market the gas. The field is located on the TFT Sud permit south of the partners’ existing Tin Fouyé Tabenkort (TFT) field.

Algeria
Issue 381 - 22 November 2018

Angola: GECF membership

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Angola joined the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) as an observer member at the group’s 20th ministerial meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on 14 November. The other African members are Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Nigeria. The fifth summit of GECF heads of state and government will take place in Malabo in November 2019, the first time it has been held in Africa.

Angola
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US independent Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Drilling, partners in Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar gas fields, have teamed up with Egypt’s East Gas Company to buy a 39% stake in the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Company (EMGC) for $518m.EMGC operates a 90km pipeline connecting the Israeli pipeline network from Ashkelon to the Egyptian pipeline network near El Arish. In February, Noble signed an export deal with Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings to supply gas from the two offshore fields into the Egyptian market over ten years.

Egypt