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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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National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla has intensified his conflict with Presidency Council head Fayez Al-Sarraj, alleging that German oil company Wintershall has formed an alliance with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and succeeded in influencing the drafting of legislation for its commercial benefit. In a statement published on NOC’s website on 10 May, Sanalla said that, following the breakdown of negotiations over the renewal of its concessions, Wintershall had “shut in over 160,000 b/d of production, at a cost to the Libyan state of almost a quarter of a billion dollars per month”.

Libya
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Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour was dismissed as head of state energy giant Sonatrach on 23 April, to be replaced by head of production Rachid Hachichi. Respected as an industry professional but widely distrusted for his links to the now discredited Bouteflika clan, and especially his ties to the politically ambitious former energy minister Chakib Khelil, Ould Kaddour’s position was in doubt even before Abdelaziz Bouteflika departed the presidency.

Algeria
Free

Egypt is a country full of ambiguities for investors and risk analysts, let alone for a population living under the economic restructuring and authoritarian rule of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. “The Egyptian power sector is viewed as an attractive destination for investment due to a relatively stable government, economy and policy direction,” observes the new Egypt Power Report from the African Energy consultancy. In the upstream, the huge Zohr offshore gas find has revived optimism about an industry that was mired in debt and problems with investors.

Egypt
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While Libya’s streets are calm and the people are welcoming, the fundamentals of long-term security remain a matter of deep concern as a political struggle between forces representing tribalism, Islamism, democracy and technocratic state management intensifies, writes John Hamilton

Libya
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The City of Cape Town has suffered a setback in its push to procure power from IPPs independently of the Department of Energy (DoE) as the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria referred the case back to the parties. Judge Leonie Windell ruled that Cape Town had made insufficient effort to avoid court action through engagement with the DoE and National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

South Africa
Issue 423 - 24 September 2020

East Med Gas Forum v Turkey

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The official founding of the Cairo-based East Mediterranean Gas Forum pits its six members and several national and multilateral observers against Turkey’s aggressive Mari Vatan (Blue Homeland) doctrine for establishing maritime economic hegemony. At a 22 September ceremony, Egypt’s petroleum minister Tarek El-Molla said other countries were welcome “as long as they are in line with the forum’s goals to achieve the welfare of the region’s countries and their people and… reject acts of violence hindering regional prosperity”.

Egypt
Issue 423 - 24 September 2020

Botswana aims to procure 645MW by 2026

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Mineral resources, green technology and energy security minister Lefoko Moagi has said Botswana will look to procure 645MW of new capacity by 2026. Moagi made the comments in parliament in August while presenting his ministry’s proposals for the mid-term review of the country’s National Development Plan (NDP).

Botswana
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The US decision to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, announced on 19 October, should open the way for a multilateral debt deal and big new financial flows, but pressure to normalise relations with Israel will not play well with many Sudanese, adding to pressure on a transitional government struggling with severe economic pressures.

Sudan
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The scale of the challenges facing Kenya Power has been highlighted by the release of its results for the past two years. The utility has been hard hit by Covid-19, with demand dropping while arrears soared, but its finances were struggling long before the pandemic struck, writes Dan Marks.

Kenya
Issue 433 - 25 February 2021

Attar out in Algerian reshuffle

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Abdelmadjid Attar has been sacked just eight months after being appointed energy minister, in a 21 February government reshuffle ordered by President Abdelmajid Tebboune. Attar has been outspoken in criticising Sonatrach’s performance and management, and delays to implementing the new hydrocarbons law.

Algeria
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Equatorial Guinea and Qatar signed a joint statement to establish diplomatic relations on 9 April, in a ceremony at Qatar’s delegation to the United Nations. The statement was signed by Equatorial Guinea’s UN ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba and his Qatari counterpart Sheikha Alya Ahmed Bin Saif Al-Thani.

Equatorial Guinea
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Ex-president Mohammed Ould Abdelaziz used an interview with Paris-based Jeune Afrique (JA) to deny he had ever taken “a single ouguiya fraudulently” from state funds. The regime of his successor – and for many decades close ally – Mohammed Ould Ghazouani has claimed Abdelaziz mismanaged public funds over his two terms (2009-19).

Mauritania
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With an over-abundance of natural gas, policy-makers are turning their attention to oil, with an effort to clean up EGPC’s balance sheet and push ahead with major downstream projects, writes John Hamilton.

Egypt
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The Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has gone to the Lusaka High Court seeking a judicial review to halt the government’s latest attempts to seize its transmission line network, including those it jointly owns with Democratic Republic of Congo’s Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel).

Zambia