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The trial of former president Rupiah Banda, which opened in April, has been suspended until October. Banda was charged with abuse of office in connection with a Nigerian oil deal with the Abuja-based Sarb Energy (AE 253/26). Former energy minister Kenneth Kongo, who was testifying as a state witness, rejected claims that Banda personally benefitted from the deal.

Nigeria | Zambia
Subscriber

US government development finance institution the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) has announced it will beef up its South African operation from 2013, dedicating a senior staff member “to leverage the country’s position as a business hub and strategic US partner” and help implement the US-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative (US-ACEF)

South Africa
Issue 365 - 15 March 2018

Egypt: Mubadala buys into Zohr

Subscriber

A subsidiary of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company has bought a 10% stake in the Shorouk concession from Eni for $934m, giving it part ownership of the super-giant Zohr field. Zohr started production in December 2017 and is now producing 400mcf/d. It is expected to reach 700mcf/d by May and to achieve its intended plateau of 2.7bcf/d by the end of 2019.Eni has farmed out two other stakes in the concession.

Egypt
Free

It says something for the political climate – and the power of social media – that Reuters on 2 December ran a story headlined: “Nigeria’s Buhari denies dying and being replaced by lookalike.” It quoted President Muhammadu Buhari telling diaspora Nigerians in Poland, where he was attending COP24 climate talks: “It’s real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong.” He was referring to internet rumours that he had died and been replaced by a Sudanese-born body double.

Nigeria
Issue 383 - 20 December 2018

New protest shuts in Libyan oil field

Subscriber

On 17 December, National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared force majeure at the 315,000 b/d Sharara oil field, which is operated by the Akakus Oil Operations joint venture and co-owned by NOC, Spain’s Repsol, France’s Total, Austria’s OMV and Norway’s Equinor. It had declared force majeure on exports from the Zawiya terminal of crude oil produced at Sharara on 9 December, the day the field was taken over by a militia named the 30th Light Infantry Battalion alongside a new popular movement uniting various civil society groups calling itself Ghathab Fezzan (Wrath of Fezzan).

Libya
Issue 404 - 21 November 2019

EIB move reflects climate (policy) change

Subscriber

The European Investment Bank (EIB) announcement that it will stop funding fossil fuel projects by end-2021 has caused a stir in several sectors, including among grid-scale renewables developers who argue that in the current phase of Africa’s carbon transition, hydrocarbons-based schemes may still be most appropriate to balance grids. For a major multilateral that has been a key financier of Mediterranean gas pipelines and other carbon-economy infrastructure, the move is a radical shift.

Free

There is speculation that Rachid Ghannouchi’s Islamist Ennahda (Renaissance) party will gain a big slice of the vote when Tunisia goes to the polls on 23 October to elect the constituent assembly that will draw up a new constitution, and that polling will be followed by significant changes in the interim government ahead of an elected administration emerging by H2 2012.

Tunisia
Issue 327 - 08 July 2016

SEC finally issues disclosure rule

Subscriber

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released a rule requiring oil and mining companies publicly traded on US stock exchanges to disclose payments to the US and foreign governments. The rule will finally enact Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2010. The SEC introduced an implementing rule for Section 1504 in 2012, but this was set aside by a US district court in 2013 following a legal challenge by the American Petroleum Institute lobby group.

Subscriber

In another twist in the long-running saga of the 6GW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) and controversy over water use in the Nile Basin, there are reports from Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia over the issue. Israeli online news site Mida reported on 19 July that a decision on Israeli involvement followed a flurry of recent diplomatic activity, including a visit to Tel Aviv by Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukri, which came soon after Netanyahu returned from a tour of Africa. The previous negotiator was former Palestinian Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan.

Egypt | Ethiopia
Free

South Africans, with President Jacob Zuma at their head, have long dreaded Nelson Mandela’s death, as not only a sad close to a major chapter in history, but also because it will force the nation to look more closely at its values, leadership and governance. Many South Africans do not like what they see, to the extent that Mandela’s political legacy may no longer be the ruling African National Congress (ANC)’s sole preserve, as new movements emerge on the left and the Democratic Alliance (DA) seeks to widen its appeal.

South Africa
Subscriber

Six months into the crisis which tore up Mali, its neighbours are still debating security strategies to resolve a conflict which threatens regional stability and foreign economic interests. Despite the lack of outright consensus, the international community is increasingly leaning towards a political exit through negotiation with militant groups, leaving armed intervention off the table, writes Oualid Khelifi

Niger | Algeria | Mali
Subscriber

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
Subscriber

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
Subscriber

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.

Nigeria
Issue 242 - 01 November 2012

Referendum promoted for Abyei

Subscriber

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