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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
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
Subscriber

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
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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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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
Free

The Supreme Constitutional Court ruling on 9 June confirming Abdullah Al-Thinni as prime minister and ruling out the claim of his supposed successor Ahmed Maetig has been accepted by all sides and restored a degree of authority and unity to a country which has seemed on the verge of splitting in two over the past month. Thinni effectively returns to the role as caretaker in advance of elections to a new interim parliament – to be called the House of Representatives – scheduled for 25 June. It is not clear whether he will be able to revive the partial deal that he struck with the federalist groups blockading ports in eastern Libya in early April, nor whether he can impose central government control on retired General Khalifa Haftar, who has been conducting an unauthorised counterterrorism offensive against Islamist groups in Cyrenaica.

Libya
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Deals struck between the government and protesters at fields in the south-western Murzuq Basin and those controlling the pipeline network south of Tripoli could lead to a resumption of exports from the main western export terminals of Az-Zawiya and Mellitah. But while an agreement with Cyrenaican federalist rebels in early April has enabled exports to restart from two smaller terminals in the east, a definitive resolution of the ten-month long blockade of the main ports in the central Sirte Basin still faces daunting political barriers, not least because of doubts over the legitimacy of the newly appointed prime minister.

Libya
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The Libyan authorities are doing their best to lift blockades of export terminals and to restart production and exports, but, despite a breakthrough in the west, the main politically motivated stoppages in the Sirte Basin are proving intractable. If eastern production remains blocked, National Oil Corporation (NOC) will struggle to lift production above 700,000-800,000 b/d, approximately half of the post-revolution peak. On 23 September, output had risen to 620,000 b/d from 240,000 b/d on 17 September. Fields supplying the Marsa Al-Brega terminal were contributing 160,000 b/d, and the western offshore fields exporting from the Bouri and Al-Jurf floating terminals were producing approximately 80,000 b/d.

Libya
Issue 252 - 19 April 2013

South Sudan resumes oil exports

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After 15 months of impasse, Sudan’s Ministry of Oil has announced that initial quantities of crude from South Sudan have reached its territory in line with a co-operation agreement signed on 12 March. Under-secretary at the Ministry of Oil Awad Abdul Fatah told AFP that “we’re really in a hurry to do things quickly” and “we’d like for the money to start flowing as soon as possible”. South Sudan suspended oil production in January 2012 in protest at unreasonable transit fees charged on its exports on the way to Port Sudan by the government in Khartoum. The blockage has cost both countries heavily.

South Sudan | Sudan
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A second attack in the Algerian ‘hydrocarbons fortress’ and an emerging narrative in which western governments see an ‘arc of instability’ spanning the Sahara/Sahel region means IOCs must reassess their attitudes to regional risk following the traumatic In Aménas gas plant siege, write Jon Marks and John Hamilton.

Niger | Libya | Algeria | Tunisia | Mali
Free

The issues that African Energy covers have risen much higher up the global agenda than seemed likely when the first issue was published in April 1998, when global concern about sub-Saharan Africa’s struggle to provide electricity to hard-pressed populations and industrial users, and the continent’s potential to provide energy to a fast-changing global economy driven by growth in emerging markets, seemed considerably less than now.

Subscriber

According to a report published in July by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, Juba is evaluating three alternatives for a new oil export pipeline that would end its dependence on two existing pipelines via Sudan. The three routes under consideration are: from Upper Nile State via Ethiopia to Djibouti; from Unity State to Lamu in Kenya; and from Unity State via Uganda to Mombasa in Kenya. The Lamu option would cost an estimated $4bn, while the other routes would each cost $3bn, according to the report.

South Sudan
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Even as negotiations continue towards the restarting of oil exports via Sudan, South Sudan is pushing ahead with plans to build alternative routes to export its oil, say senior government officials. The Juba government is also planning to build a refinery, launch a licensing round, and break up oil concessions awarded by Khartoum prior to independence, writes Richard Nield, recently in Juba

South Sudan | Sudan
Subscriber

The re-emergence of controversial former vice president Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidate for a group of powerful northern elite factions has added some very Nigerian spice to the 2011 presidential election

Nigeria
Issue 239 - 21 September 2012

Algeria: Reshuffle reaches Sonatrach empire

Subscriber

Three days after the 3 September announcement of a new government led by prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal, which retained Youcef Yousfi as energy and mines minister, eight heads of various Sonatrach affiliates were sacked and two vacant senior management positions at the heart of the mother company were filled.

Algeria