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Issue 322 - 29 April 2016

Saudi finance for Cairo West


Egypt and Saudi Arabia signed several energy sector agreements during the recent visit to Cairo of King Salman Bin Abdelaziz. Most importantly, Egyptian minister of international cooperation Dr Sahar Nasr and Saudi Fund for Development chairman Dr Ibrahim Assaf signed a $100m financing agreement for the Cairo West power plant. This 650MW gas-fired steam turbine plant is being developed by the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Holding Company at an estimated cost of $700m.


Dragon Oil has approached Petroceltic with a cash offer of 230p/share. The Dubai-based company has been looking to get into North Africa for a long time and has a $2bn cash pile to spend. Buying Petroceltic would soak up about $1bn of that, while the remainder would enable it to cover the company’s 38.25% equity share in development of the Ain Tsila gas condensate field through to first gas in 2018. Sonatrach has been carrying Petroceltic’s costs over the past year, but the carry runs out in 2015, and the Irish company would otherwise be obliged to turn to the markets for more funds.

Issue 362 - 01 February 2018

Eni plans gas and renewables investments


Italy’s Eni will become a major player in African renewables while also strengthening its support for domestic gas markets in countries where it operates. The company is investing in exploration and production in every North African country except Tunisia and is fast becoming one of the leading sponsors of solar projects in these countries.Chief executive Claudio Descalzi described a strategic vision for Eni and the role it expects to play in its core markets in a hosted interview as part of Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Energy conference in London on 29 January.

Egypt | Libya | Algeria

The success of Société des Energies de Côte d’Ivoire’s 275MW Soubré hydro plant has substantially undermined the commercial logic underpinning a proposed 3m t/yr liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Abidjan’s Vridi port. The challenge facing the project’s promoters, which include Total, Shell, Golar LNG, Azerbaijan’s Socar and Endeavor Energy, is not only to justify a gas offtake price higher than the $5.5-6.0/mBtu ceiling set by the government, but also to find a market for the gas at all.

Côte d'Ivoire
Issue 285 - 30 September 2014

South Africa: New partner for Sunbird


Vandasia Investments is taking a 43.9% stake in Ibhubesi gas developer Sunbird Energy in a transaction worth A$25m ($23m). Vandasia is an investment company made up of businesspeople from South Africa and Nigeria, headed by Tembalikayise Lupepe, whose Mdali Group is the South African partner to Portugal’s Mota-Engil Construction Group. Vandasia paid the first $3m on 24 September. Australian-listed Sunbird’s main shareholder with 36% was previously South Africa’s Umbono Capital, whose managing director is Sunbird chairman Kerwin Rana.

South Africa

Operator Vioco Petroleum is aiming for final investment decision by year-end on the Gazelle gas field development on Block CI-202. The company submitted a revised field development plan to the government in July 2014, based on supplying gas to a new power plant to be built next to the onshore gas processing facilities. Approval will lead to the granting of an exclusive exploitation area (EEA) over the Gazelle field, allowing for 25 years of exploitation. Vioco is 35% owned by Azonto Petroleum, the former Rialto Energy, and 65% by Vitol, which acquired 65% of the shares in Rialto subsidiary Rialto (Côte d’Ivoire) last year in exchange for providing $50m of loan capital for the Block CI-202 work programme.

Côte d'Ivoire
Issue 398 - 30 August 2019

Total signs Benin LNG agreement


Total has signed a gas supply agreement and host government agreement with Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique for a FSRU project in Benin, which will see the French major supply up to 500,000 t/yr of LNG from its portfolio for 15 years from 2021. The gas will be used to supply existing and planned power plants around Maria Gléta.The import volume is particularly small for a FSRU project, which is understood to have given Total an advantage over other bidders as demand in Benin is relatively low.


Kosmos has raised its reserves estimate for the Greater Tortue Complex to more than 20tcf from 17tcf following the successful Ahmeyim-2 appraisal well. The rig will now move to drill the oil-focused Teranga-1 exploration well in the Cayar Offshore Profond Block in Senegalese waters. Ahmeyim-2 was drilled to a total depth of 5,200 metres offshore Mauritania and penetrated the gas-water contacts in the Lower Cenomanian and Albian, defining the field limit and extending the productive field area from approximately 50km2 to 90km2.

Mauritania | Senegal

President Filipe Nyusi was bound to make the most of the announcement that Eni and partners had reached a final investment decision (FID) to develop the $8bn Coral South floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project in offshore Area 4; all drilling, construction and installation contracts for the 3.4m t/yr FLNG scheme in the Rovuma Basin were signed to great fanfare in early June.

Issue 268 - 20 December 2013

Nigeria: US firm invests in gas IPP


Energy investor American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) has announced it will invest $130m in Azura Power Holdings Ltd, which is developing the 450MW Azura-Edo open-cycle gas turbine power plant near Benin City in Edo State. The product of an April fundraising, the capital will be used to develop the first and second stages of the project. Azura-Edo is the flagship project in the Nigerian government’s power sector reform programme, which aims to end years of power shortages through the privatisation of state-owned power companies, ultimately aiming to boost generation capacity to 20,000MW, a target which would require capital injection of $3.5bn per year.


The National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG) has announced three block awards in the deep-water Namibe Basin from its 2019 bid round. ANPG said Sonangol was awarded 35% in Block 27, with the other 65% remaining open for negotiation by other interested companies. Eni was awarded operatorship of Block 28 with a 60% interest, alongside Sonangol with 20%, leaving 20% open for negotiations. Block 29 was awarded to Total as operator with 46%, alongside Equinor (24.5%), Sonangol (20%) and BP (9.5%).

Issue 344 - 21 April 2017

Ghana: Sankofa FPSO arrives


The John Agyekum Kufuor floating production, storage and offloading vessel to be used for Eni’s Sankofa oil and gas development has arrived offshore Ghana, according to the Graphic Online news website. The FPSO is undergoing mooring operations at the Offshore Cape Three Points Block in the Tano Basin. The vessel will handle oil production from the Sankofa and Gye Nyame fields 60km off the coast.


The Federal Government of Nigeria’s new 100-page National Gas Policy (NGP) sets targets for policy reforms and improvements, starting in the upstream with policies to develop gas resources. The NGP aims to encourage exploration and development of new gas supply sources from inland and offshore basins, and to develop portfolio management methodologies to prioritise low-cost gas development. New reserves would then feed a restructured gas supply industry, whose future shape is outlined in the NGP.


Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG) plans exploration drilling next year to supply a planned expansion of its Logbaba gas processing plant in Douala. The company appointed a new management team in 2013 after significant cost overruns and has been focusing on transforming itself from an exploration and production company to an integrated utility company. A key milestone was a take-or-pay contract signed with power utility Eneo in December 2014 to supply the 20MW Bassa and 30MW Logbaba power stations.

Issue 280 - 27 June 2014

New gas discovery on Block 1


BG has made a new gas discovery on Block 1 with the Taachui-1 well and Taachui-1 ST1 sidetrack, drilled by the Deepsea Metro I drillship close to the western boundary the block. The well was sidetracked for operational reasons and reached a total depth of 4,215 metres. Partner Ophir Energy said the well encountered gas in a single 289-metre column within the targeted Cretaceous reservoir interval. Reservoir properties are in line with those at Mzia, the other Cretaceous-aged discovery on Block 1.