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China National Offshore Oil Corporation (Cnooc) International and Italy’s Eni were the only companies to bid in the sixth licensing round, with Cnooc submitting offers for five blocks and Eni targeting just one.

Mozambique
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Norway’s PetroNor E&P has said it will continue with a petroleum, exploration, development and production licence agreement (Pepla) for the A4 licence area in Gambia.

Gambia
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Canadian independent Reconnaissance Energy Africa plans to spud a second well in December, after failing to find commercial volumes of oil or gas at its debut 8-2 well in the frontier onshore Kavango Basin.

Namibia
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TotalEnergies is planning fresh drilling activities in the Namibian and South African portions of the Orange basin in 2024, with a multi-well wildcat campaign lined up for South African waters and an appraisal well targeting a western extension of its Venus oil and gas discovery offshore Namibia.

South Africa
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Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas has announced that it has not found evidence of commercial hydrocarbons at its Gazania-1 well on offshore Block 2B. The failure to encounter a commercial play so close to the Venus and Graff discoveries will disappoint South Africans hoping for exploration successes in the Orange Basin.

South Africa
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The Mutoshi and Etoile copper and cobalt projects have received a funding boost from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) and a syndicate of other, unnamed banks. Both copper and cobalt are vital inputs for the energy transition and have been designated by the United States, European Union (EU) and other major economies as critical or transition minerals.

DR Congo
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Tunisia’s EPPM Group expect to start construction of offshore methane gas facilities and a 30MW gas conversion power plant on the DR Congo lake shore in early 2023. EPPM says it is in talks with lenders for a financial close that will finally allow the much-anticipated project to go ahead.

DR Congo
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Project bulletin

Turkish concessionaire Aksa Enerji has formally returned the 50MW Djéno gas-powered plant to service. Aksa has a 30-year concession to operate the plant and expand it to 100MW over the concession period.

Congo Brazzaville
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Oil majors’ Q3 2022 earnings exceeded analyst estimates, although booming incomes were boosted by only marginal contributions from their African portfolios.

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A $220m US government grant for a Louisiana graphite facility, which sources its ore in Mozambique, shows how competition for African graphite is heating up in a new ‘great game’ to secure strategically vital transition minerals. Insecurity and difficult labour relations in Mozambique pose challenges, but serious money is also pouring into Tanzanian and Madagascan developments.

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Germany’s offer of support for a first hydrogen (GH2) plant in Morocco makes the North African country a potential early mover in the race to build a hydrogen economy on the continent.

Morocco
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Mozambique’s graphite reserves are situated in Cabo Delgado, where an Islamist insurgency has raged since 2017. The violence has meant that the area’s biggest investments, TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil’s planned onshore liquefaction trains on the Afungi peninsula, remain on hold.

Mozambique
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Zesco chairman Vickson Ncube has said achieving cost- reflective tariffs (CRTs) should not be done at the expense of making electricity too expensive for key groups such as copper miners and ordinary consumers.

Zambia
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Mozambique is Africa’s undisputed graphite leader – at least for now. Total output at Balama (officially named Twigg) was recorded at 72,000 tonnes in 2021, but reached 128,000 tonnes in Q1-Q3 2022 – almost double Brazil’s total 2021 production, according to USGS data.

Mozambique
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Graphite production has not yet started, but Tanzania could become one of Africa’s leading exporters of the mineral, given most of its reserves are situated near existing road, rail and port links and the government’s licensing regime has proven attractive to investors. African Energy takes a look at the firms that have graphite developments at advanced stages in the country.

Tanzania