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With recent visitors headlined by Chevron and Eni, and a senior Russian oil apparatchik talking up pipelines and other business in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo is looking to turn an upturn in interest into financial commitments, as its maturing fields and untapped frontiers clamour for new investment to reverse a declining production profile.

Congo Brazzaville
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The question of how and whether financial institutions should support major energy projects that have fossil fuel components is prompting regulators and insurers to weigh up potential new rules, including re-examining the definition of terms like “ESG” (environmental, social and governance). 

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Addax Petroleum Corporation has ended a 24-year presence in Nigeria after Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) confirmed on 1 November that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the transfer, settlement and exit agreement for oil mining leases (OMLs) 123, 124, 126 and 137.

Nigeria
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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)’s early October decision to commit $200m to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop) provided a valuable slug of support to a project that has become increasingly toxic to western banks and insurers.

Uganda | Tanzania
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Graphite mining in Madagascar has over a century of history, but production has fallen to low levels. However, two firms have ambitious expansion plans that are expected to markedly increase output in the near future.

Madagascar
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Copper miners have called on the government to delay a planned reintroduction of import duties on fuel, saying it would increase costs at a time when the industry is already grappling with disruptions in the global supply chain caused by the Ukraine war and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zambia
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Electricity to supply Syrah Resources’ Twigg/Balama graphite project in Mozambique has been provided by 15.4MW of diesel generation capacity, but in December 2020 the Australian company signed a memorandum of understanding with Solarcentury to develop an 11.25MWp solar PV and 8.5MW/MWh battery storage facility.

Mozambique
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Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)-listed Aya Gold & Silver said on 25 October that it had secured $100m of debt finance to expand its Zgounder mine project, some 100km south of Marrakesh.

Morocco
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Kosmos Energy reported progress on its core development projects in West Africa in a Q3 2022 results release on 7 November. The New York Stock Exchange- and London Stock Exchange-listed firm said it was advancing several gas opportunities, which it now believes will drive growth beyond 2024 as it continues to increase the weighting of natural gas in its traditionally crude-heavy portfolio.

Ghana | Mauritania | Equatorial Guinea | Senegal
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UK major BP reported a $2bn gain from part of its efforts towards “high-grading its portfolio” in its Q3 2022 results relating to the formation of its Angola-focused 50/50 joint venture with Eni, Azule Energy, which started operations in August.

Angola
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A 30-year concession has been signed for rail services and logistical support for the 1,290km Lobito corridor, which connects Lobito port to Luau in Angola’s east, close to the DR Congo border. The corridor offers the shortest route for mined copper and cobalt from DRC and Zambia to reach a deep-water port. It also offers increased capacity for the transit of liquids and gases.

DR Congo | Angola
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London-listed Predator Oil & Gas Holdings has said the drilling of its MOU-2 gas well on the onshore Guercif licence is likely to start in the first half of December .

Morocco
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President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s aim of using COP27 to bolster Egypt’s credentials as a regional green energy hub have seen deals on multi-gigawatt wind farms and the commissioning of the first green hydrogen (GH2) pilot project in Africa. But tricky compromises will be needed to turn some of the heady plans into reality.

Egypt
Issue 472 - 10 November 2022

Gas question rumbles at a divided COP

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Growing alarm over the scale of the climate emergency and the impossibility of limiting the global temperature increase to just 1.5ºC by 2100 has put Africa’s climate finance conundrum into the spotlight during COP27 in Egypt.  Divisions over the future role of gas in energy transition have split the continent – which will not get all the new money it wants to help it adapt to the consequences of climate change, writes John Hamilton in Sharm El Sheikh.

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London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed indie Genel has hired advisory firm PVE to find a joint venture (JV) partner for its offshore Lagzira licence in Morocco, where it has a 75% working interest and is operator.

Morocco