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Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla says outgoing Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba’s Government of National Unity (GNU)’s failure to pay the national oil company’s budgets means oil production could fall at any moment – and there is no scope to increase gas exports to Italy.

Libya
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The Zambian government has shelved a plan to reintroduce taxes on imported fuel, in an effort to keep prices lower. In December, fuel prices increased after the government removed subsidies on petroleum products in an effort to better reflect market prices. Zambia has migrated to a monthly pricing cycle that makes local pump prices more responsive to shifts in international oil prices and foreign currency exchange rates.

Zambia
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Ever since Chinua Achebe borrowed from WB Yates’ lines, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world” for his ground-breaking novel of late colonial Nigeria, the phrase ‘things fall apart’ has been used to describe episodes in Nigerian politics. It is again relevant to ask whether the embattled Nigerian state can hold when confronted by a dizzying range of crises, writes Marc Howard.

Nigeria
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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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Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has criticised the impetus from rich countries to divest from fossil fuels in a strongly-worded article for New York-based Foreign Affairs magazine, In The divestment delusion: Why banning fossil fuel investments would crush Africa, published on 31 August.

Nigeria
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Industry observers feared old-guard elements in South Africa’s ruling ANC and the Mozambique government might not resist the temptation to call for their state companies to pre-empt the sale of Sasol’s 30% stake in Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investments Company (Rompco).

Mozambique | South Africa
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Nothing is what it seems in a political environment dominated by insincerity and double-dealing – not even the apparent victory of hydrocarbons sector bastion Mustafa Sanalla in his bitter show-down with oil and gas minister Mohammed Aoun.

Libya
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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
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National Oil Corporation (NOC) successfully used a temporary declaration of force majeure at the Marsa el-Hariga export terminal to secure payment of budget arrears from the Government of National Unity (GNU). The suspension of exports for just over a week was an indication of the scratchy relationship between NOC and the new Ministry of Oil and Gas, with each side yet to test the limits of its role in the new administration.

Libya
Free

The problems of Nigeria’s southeast are rarely far from being a political and oil company preoccupation. Issues of governance and reputational damage weigh heavy on majors’ perceptions about operating in a lucrative but troubled region as lawyers busy themselves acting for local communities against Royal Dutch Shell and potentially other IOCs in a series of class actions. The new military top team appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari is challenged with reducing insecurity, including from rising levels of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Nigeria
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Upstream operator Total has signed a host government agreement (HGA) with Uganda for its proposed oil export pipeline project connecting Uganda’s oil fields to Tanzania’s Tanga port. “We have today reached major milestones which pave the way to the final investment decision [FID] in the coming months.

Uganda | Tanzania
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With elections looming in February, President Muhammadu Buhari will be seeking to avoid a repeat of the chaos when petrol filling stations across Africa’s leading oil and gas exporter almost ran dry last December and January. Buhari’s main challenger, veteran politician and businessman Atiku Abubakar, will be quick to highlight economic mismanagement and stress his preference for wholesale reform of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources as well as the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its malfunctioning oil refineries.

Nigeria
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Speculation is growing that the political order has changed in important ways in recent weeks, during which ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has remained in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment amid growing concern that a dangerous power vacuum is growing. Most analysts still believe Yar’Adua will hold on to his job for as long as he lives

Nigeria
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Critics argue that for all the talk of reform in the past two decades, elements of the Algerian state remain rotten at their core. Other observers say the situation has improved markedly during the Bouteflika years, and “technical irregularities” of the sort that have overwhelmed Sonatrach’s senior cadres will be quickly overcome. According to Algerian and international business sources contacted by African Energy,

Algeria
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The return of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua from Saudi Arabia, where he has been in hospital for more than three months, is threatening to undermine acting president Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts to consolidate his position and derail attempts to get the Niger Delta ceasefire and controversial oil sector reforms back on track (

Niger