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Issue 470 - 17 October 2022

Some gas export schemes must fail

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Europe’s hunger for non-Russian sources of natural gas has intensified diplomatic and commercial rivalries in the eastern Mediterranean, pushed ambitious schemes to the forefront, and raised the prospects of other African gas plays that were previously considered marginal. But it is not obvious that European governments or buyers are ready to plump for one favoured deal over the rest, meaning the gas could still go elsewhere.  

Egypt | Nigeria | Tanzania | Morocco
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Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has acquired OVH Energy Marketing (OVH), which operates the 380-strong Oando petrol station chain in Nigeria and Togo, for an undisclosed sum. The service stations will be rebranded under the NNPC brand by end-2023.

Nigeria
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Seeking to build African alliances as it navigates the fallout of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia has reiterated its willingness to help build a 1,500km petroleum products pipeline in Republic of Congo, from the oil hub at Pointe Noire to Ouesso in the north.

Congo Brazzaville
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An Egyptian-led East Mediterranean gas hub hangs in the balance as the partners in Israel’s offshore Leviathan and Tamar gas fields weigh up their commercial options in the face of Cairo’s ambitions to dominate the market. It is the latest in a series of manoeuvres as eastern Mediterranean states – including Libya and Turkey – manoeuvre for position.

Egypt | Libya
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TotalEnergies is to face a group of environmental pressure groups in a French court on 7 December, in a dispute over the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop) and Tilenga projects in Uganda and Tanzania.

Uganda | Tanzania
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The Libyan and Turkish governments have defended their latest memorandum of understanding (MoU) on hydrocarbons exploitation in maritime areas that they claim, but several neighbours dispute. The result is a bad-tempered stand-off, even before details have been announced, let alone exploration areas named or awarded.

Egypt | Libya
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Mauritania's petroleum, mines and energy minister Abdessalam Ould Mohammed Saleh has signed a partnership agreement for the 10GW Nour green hydrogen (GH2) project. The agreement paves the way for a feasibility study and offtaker assessment.

Mauritania
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The Mauritanian government gave an elevated estimate of over 50tcf of gas reserves at the offshore BirAllah field the day before operator BP confirmed, on 12 October, that it had signed an exploration and production-sharing contract (PSC) for the acreage.

Mauritania
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Nigeria’s recently launched Energy Transition Plan aims to make Abuja’s target of net zero emissions by 2060 a reality, but the debt-for-climate deal proposed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo could be even more important in relieving more immediate economic pressures – if creditors agree to provide the funds requested for a new deal that promotes gas as the key ‘transition fuel’.

Nigeria
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London Stock Exchange-listed Kavango Resources on 12 October announced “encouraging” results from its PL082/2018 licence in the Kalahari Copper Belt. The Botswana-focused metals explorer used controlled-source audio magnetotelluric surveys, hitherto unused in the Kalahari, to provide detailed data to a 4km depth

Botswana
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Increased jihadist activity has displaced populations and affected business across the region, as armed groups seek to generate income by attacking mines and other revenue generators. The failure of the Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba regime in Burkina Faso to protect artisanal gold miners in the north was one of many security concerns that served as a pretext for his overthrow; mines are being attacked by the same insurgent groups in Mali.

Niger | Guinea | Burkina Faso | Mali
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Project bulletin

Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power has signed a memorandum of understanding with Société Nationale d’Electricité du Sénégal (Senelec) to develop a 160MW combined cycle gas-turbine (CCGT) plant power plant in Cap des Biches.

Senegal
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The Indian government and parastatals are discussing taking liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Algeria and Angola under long-term supply agreements in response to the energy crisis. The African countries are not alone, as New Delhi has also said it has reached out to other big producers including the United States, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as the government seeks to reassure anxious markets.

Angola | Algeria
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President João Lourenço and his MPLA government are promising more reforms following their return to power, but a big privatisation campaign headlined by Angola’s state oil giant Sonangol will likely take years to come into effect.

Angola
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A consortium of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s ONGC Videsh subsidiary have held talks discussions with Tullow Oil to acquire a 50% stake in the London Stock Exchange-listed independent’s Project Oil Kenya development.

Kenya