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Issue 218 - 21 October 2011

IMF relations back on track

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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)”.

Uganda
Issue 339 - 03 February 2017

Equatorial Guinea: Opec application

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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
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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
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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.

Algeria
Free

The second high-level meeting of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) in Addis Ababa on 11-13 February has provided another opportunity for experts to assess how far Africa and Europe have come in reaching a set of ‘political targets’ set in 2010. The targets for 2020 provided shared goals for energy access and efficiency, energy security (including electricity interconnections and gas trade) and generation from renewables. The findings of this work by the AEEP Secretariat, whose consultant is African Energy’s parent Cross-border Information, are available in a Status Report downloadable in English and French.

Issue 336 - 08 December 2016

Egypt: Cairo plans power plant IPOs

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Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) has approved a restructuring plan under which 18GW of newly built or under construction gas-fired generation capacity will be hived off into separately managed subsidiaries and floated on the Egyptian Exchange in late 2017. EEHC has created four companies, one for the 3.6GW of emergency plants with GE turbines completed at Ataka, Mahmudiya, West Damietta, West Assiut, Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh during 2015, and others for each of the three 4.8GW power stations being built by the Siemens, Orascom and El-Sewedy Electric consortium at Beni Suef, Burullus and New Capital.

Egypt
Issue 170 - 18 September 2009

Little hope of peace from Delta ceasefire

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Militants in the Niger Delta have agreed to extend their ceasefire by 30 days but there has been little improvement in the situation on the ground. Some militants have surrendered their weapons in public ceremonies, but one source in the Delta told African Energy: “it’s just tokens, more guns are still being hidden in the creeks.”

Niger
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Upstream players have so far remained unfazed by the violent political changes of the summer. They were likewise relatively untroubled by the 14-month-long Muslim Brotherhood administration of President Mohammed Morsi, in spite of its various missteps and failures. However, it now looks likely that the new administration will move quickly to create new financial incentives for international oil companies (IOCs) and to reduce the pressure on them caused by the growing value of arrears owed by Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and its subsidiaries.

Egypt
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Eight African states have applied to the United Nations to extend their territorial waters beyond the 200-mile limit, while the other eligible coastal states have put in preliminary claims (AE 137/21). Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Côte d’Ivoire and Namibia

Mauritius | Kenya | Ghana | Seychelles | Nigeria | South Africa
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The advisory ruling that the UK’s sovereignty claim over the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean is illegal, voted 13-1 by judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 25 February, was a triumph for Chagossians exiled in the mid-1960s in a discredited deal that led to Mauritius’ independence from the UK and Diego Garcia’s conversion into a US military base in 1971.

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The political context of the deal to open Libya’s oil terminals leaves plenty of scope for further unexpected changes. The leader of the blockades, Ibrahim Al-Jathran, held out for 11 months to gain a number of concessions from the central government related to the objective of winning greater autonomy for Cyrenaica, Libya’s eastern province, where the largest part of its discovered hydrocarbons resources are located.

Libya
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdelaziz held talks with Republic of Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on 25 March. The doyen of Central African leaders’ three-day visit was aimed at securing Saudi infrastructure investment. Sassou was accompanied by finance minister Calixte Ganongo and the recently appointed head of heavily indebted state oil company Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC) Maixent Raoul Ominga. The delegation left the kingdom on 27 March without any major deals being announced.

Congo Brazzaville
Issue 250 - 14 March 2013

Governance: EITI delists Gabon

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The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) board has delisted Gabon for failing to file its validation report by the December deadline. The board also suspended Sierra Leone and Mauritania. Having been granted previous extensions, Gabon was required to submit a validation report by 9 December 2012. The report arrived nine weeks after the deadline, on 15 February, but the validator found that Gabon had failed to meet seven out of 21 requirements.

Gabon
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Equatorial Guinea has signalled that an agreement with Gazprom, Lukoil and Rosneft could emerge from the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on 23-24 October. A Russian news report, retweeted by minister of mines and hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, quoted the minister as saying the Equatorial Guinea delegation, to be led by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, would not come to the summit “empty-handed”.

Equatorial Guinea
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One of Algeria’s few privately financed infrastructure projects has formally broken down after years of problems, with state energy giant Sonatrach and water company L’Algérienne des Eaux telling a group led by Malaysia’s Malakoff Corporation they are terminating their water purchase agreement (WPA) for the troubled Souk Tleta desalination plant. The reverse osmosis plant in Tlemcen province began commercial operations in 2011 under a 25-year contract, but has been out of operation since 2016; before that it never treated anything like its 200,000 m3/d capacity to process sea water, which was intended to produce a nominal 71,400 m3/d of drinking water.

Algeria