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Nigeria’s industry regulator is leading another effort to sell marginal oil and gas blocks – the first under the Petroleum Industry Act. As Abuja looks for new impetus in its hydrocarbons industry, African Energy has updated its maps.

Nigeria
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While most of Sonatrach’s investment under its $40bn five-year plan is due to go into exploration and production, the national oil company has also planned downstream investments of around $7bn in the period to 2027.

Algeria
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With bids due in by end-January on seismic data acquisition, Petroleum Agency South Africa (Pasa) is hoping this year will see progress towards licensing rounds covering offshore and onshore acreage which could be launched in 2024.

South Africa
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Buoyed by Eni’s success at bringing new upstream projects on stream at pace and the changed outlook for investment and exports as the war in Ukraine approaches its first anniversary, Sonatrach is aiming for a rise in activity to boost output in North Africa’s gas giant, write James Gavin and Jon Marks

Algeria
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So much for a post-carbon world, as a welter of new upstream investment plays marks the start of 2023. Some of Africa’s biggest producers are offering new acreage and developments, including Nigeria’s latest marginal fields round and Algerian efforts to exploit surging demand for gas stoked by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago.

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London-listed Sound Energy expects to reach a final investment decision (FID) for the second phase of its Tendrara concession by year-end, as it continues its search for a farm-in partner to join further exploration and appraisal work. Production from phase I is also expected to start in early 2024, writes Marc Howard.

Morocco
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The UK Court of Appeal found against the campaigning group Friends of the Earth in a mid-January ruling on UK government support for the project. However, there are still many obstacles for those seeking to raise finance from western sources for Sub-Saharan hydrocarbons projects.

Mozambique
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Project bulletin

Sonelgaz’s decade-old programme to install a new generation of gas-fired power plants with turbines supplied by GE is limping towards the finish line, but the authorities continue to postpone the dates for final commissioning.

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Australia’s Invictus Energy has extended the contract for Exalo’s Rig 202 to allow further drilling in Muzarabani. That leaves Helium One needing another rig for its Tanzania drilling campaign.

Zimbabwe | Tanzania
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London Stock Exchange-listed Afentra's acquisition of a 4% interest in two Angolan offshore oil blocks has been approved by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas.

Angola
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Sultan Al-Jaber’s appointment to preside over the end-year COP28 climate talks in Dubai brings a storied United Arab Emirates official to global prominence. His leadership in renewables developer Masdar and other UAE sustainable energy initiatives is welcome, but Al-Jaber’s powerful role as head of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has added to climate campaigners’ fears that big hydrocarbons producers will take the COP process even further off track, write Jon Marks and African Energy staff.

Egypt | Mauritania | Morocco
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The Ministry of Water and Mines has awarded Zenith Energy three months’ exclusivity to negotiate and finalise a production-sharing contract (PSC) for the offshore Block 1, containing the mature Sèmè oil field.

Benin
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London-listed Pensana’s is gearing up to develop its $300m Longonjo mixed rare earth sulphate (MRES) mine and processing plant, which will be supplied with hydroelectric power from Laúca and later from solar PV.

Angola
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Ivanhoe Mines has announced that output at its Kamoa-Kakula copper mining complex in Lualaba province saw a 215% year-on-year increase in 2022. The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company said Kamoa-Kakula would soon become “one of the world’s leading producers” of copper. Hydroelectric power (HEP) forms a cornerstone of the company’s goal of net-zero operational greenhouse gas emissions at the mine.

DR Congo
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London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed Capricorn Energy’s board fired the latest salvo in the battle over the Africa-focused indie’s future on 5 January.