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State oil company Petroci will hold a roadshow in Paris on 13 June showcasing open acreage available for direct negotiation. The roadshow, to be held during the Oil & Gas Council Africa Assembly, comes as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire await a ruling from the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea on their maritime boundary. This will clarify the situation for Total, which licensed Block CI-605 last year in deeper water south of its Block CI-100, which contains the 2013 Ivoire-1X discovery.

Côte d'Ivoire

Ghana has sought arbitration from the United Nations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) over the two countries’ maritime border. The border has never been formally demarcated and the discovery of oil has significantly raised the stakes. Bilateral negotiations have so far failed to resolve the issue and, in November 2011, Ivorian state oil company Petroci redrew its licensing blocks map, delineating five new blocks on the eastern border, straying into what had previously been considered Ghanaian territory.


France’s Cour de Cassation (supreme court) has ruled as admissible a complaint filed by Transparency International (TI) France, paving the way for an investigation into how valuable assets were acquired in France by three Central African heads of state

Equatorial Guinea | Congo Brazzaville | Gabon

The appointment of outspoken former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi as emir of Kano has been widely welcomed as good news for Nigeria in general and the north in particular, although President Goodluck Jonathan may be less thrilled. Sanusi was suspended in February after highlighting the disappearance of $20bn from the country’s oil funds. While the emir has no constitutional power, he is in a position to be a serious thorn in the side of the government ahead of elections next year.

Issue 242 - 01 November 2012

Referendum promoted for Abyei


Negotiations on avoiding further conflict continue, following the Agreement on Oil and Related Economic Matters reached by the two Sudans on 27 September.

South Sudan | Sudan
Issue 218 - 22 October 2011

IMF relations back on track


Normally good relations with the International Monetary Fund have been restored after a brief hiatus. The IMF had announced in February, in language dry even by its standards, that Uganda “did not complete the first review under the three-year Policy Support Instrument (PSI)”.


The announcement on 22 September of an inter-governmental agreement between South Africa and Russia on strategic partnership and co-operation in nuclear energy and industry has been greeted with bemusement by South Africans. The agreement was signed by South African energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and the director-general of Russia’s state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, Sergey Kirienko, at the 58th general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.“The agreement lays the foundation for the large-scale nuclear power plant (NPP) procurement and development programme of South Africa based on the construction in RSA of new nuclear power plants with Russian VVER reactors with total installed capacity of up to 9.6GW (up to 8 NPP units),” said a joint statement published on the Department of Energy and Rosatom websites.

South Africa

At the time of publishing it was unclear whether the United Nations would persuade delegates from Tobruk’s House of Representatives (HoR) and Tripoli’s General National Congress (GNC), meeting in the Moroccan town of Skhirat, to sign a deal on a unity government. They were ready to do so on 16 December, but at a separate meeting in Malta, HoR speaker Ageela Gwaider and GNC speaker Nuri Abu Sahmain – normally arch-rivals – jointly called for a postponement, making clear that the delegates in Morocco did not represent the will of either assembly.

Issue 339 - 03 February 2017

Equatorial Guinea: Opec application


Sub-Saharan Africa’s third biggest producer, Equatorial Guinea, has applied to join the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) price cartel. Minister of mines and hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang travelled to Vienna on 20 January to meet Opec officials.Obiang, the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema who became minister in May 2012, has been seeking to modernise the oil sector and boost Equatorial Guinea’s international image with projects such as a crude and products storage tank farm and a petrochemicals complex.

Equatorial Guinea

There was an unexpected frisson around the packed conference hall in Hamburg when, on 4 May, following the usual bullish opening remarks by senior German officials promoting renewable energy options, Ghanaian power minister Kwabena Donkor proposed an alternative strategy to meet his country’s 12% annual electricity demand growth while driving industrial development. Under heavy pressure over catastrophic power cuts, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has decided to give priority to building coal-fired plants, to be supported by combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants supplied by imported gas.


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has decided to contest the proposed maritime border contained in Angola’s submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The submission, delivered on 6 December, gives DRC no access to the high seas. It recognises only a small triangle of sea as DRC territory and ignores any Congolese right to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or access to the continental shelf beyond the previous 200-mile limit (AE 264/17). In a letter to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on 11 April, the DRC foreign ministry said Angola’s border claim had been drawn “unilaterally” without regard for DRC’s rights to its maritime territory.

DR Congo

African Energy’s new Upstream update table shows the extent of interest in Ghana’s offshore hydrocarbons play. But a clear blueprint for how those reserves will be used locally remains elusive, and conflicting views of how Ghana should exploit its emerging resources will be more apparent in the lead-up to the December presidential election

Issue 366 - 06 April 2018

US imposes South Sudan oil sanctions


The US government has imposed licensing restrictions on South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Mining, state-owned Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) and 12 other oil-related organisations. The restrictions were issued on 21 March by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the US Department of Commerce “as part of the US effort to end the ongoing conflict and resolve the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan”, a statement said.

South Sudan

Energy and mines minister Youcef Yousfi has defended Algeria’s position on gas prices, an issue of major concern for European utilities, who have been calling for a better pricing structure, and are now tying the issue to their willingness to invest in new exploration opportunities. However, state giant Sonatrach, which is embroiled in international arbitration with Electricité de France’s Italian subsidiary Edison, insists its clients must pay their fair share of the huge investments required to bring new Algerian gas on-stream.


Former rebels of the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (Renamo) have dealt a blow to Mozambique’s efforts to position itself as a major investment success story and future gas exporter, abandoning their 1992 peace deal with the ruling Frente de Libertação Moçambicana (Frelimo) with a series of attacks on government troops. Few commentators expect a return to all-out civil conflict but investors are jumpy, not least because Renamo’s rejection of peace coincides with a spate of kidnappings –15 in October alone –with some in the capital, Maputo. In early November, British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, which has extensive coal operations in north-western Tete Province, withdrew expatriate employees’ families from the country.