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Fighting has continued to threaten oilfield security in South Sudan’s main oil producing states of Unity and Upper Nile in recent weeks, but production has remained more or less steady at about 165,000 b/d, according to oil industry sources. Government oil sales, meanwhile, have increased by 1m barrels a month. The government closed a tender on 7 May for the sale of 3.8m barrels of Dar Blend crude from Upper Nile. Four contracts were awarded: one of 600,000 barrels and three of 1m barrels. The 600,000-barrel contract was won by Glencore.

South Sudan
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Pleas from United Nations secretary-general António Guterres for a cessation in hostilities to enable medical personnel in Libya to deal with the spread of coronavirus have been ignored. On 8 April, the UN Support Mission in Libya reported heavy shelling of a hospital in Tripoli. The perpetrators were not named but were most probably aligned with the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by the warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Libya
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Pressures on utilities and other state-owned enterprises will be a greater feature in the 2020s than in earlier debt crises. Reforms to the continent’s largest energy enterprises, Eskom and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, are integral to their macroeconomies emerging stronger. Unravelling the problems of malfunctioning parastatals in economies from Ghana to Madagascar already play a central role in governments’ reform commitments. Madagascan utility Jiro sy Rany Malagasy (Jirama) has attracted considerable funds to support its reform.

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The government is considering various options to increase the capital of Rwanda Energy Group (REG) in order to finance planned infrastructure development. Corporate communications adviser Prosper Mubera Birori told African Energy one possibility was to bring in a strategic investor who would acquire an equity stake in the group as a whole, or in REG’s Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL) subsidiary, which is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the existing generation plants, the transmission and distribution network, and selling electricity to end-users.

Rwanda
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Sonatrach’s ability to supply enough gas to meet its international contracts continues to be the subject of speculation in the international markets. Sales to southern Europe have fallen sharply in recent years, mainly as a result of mutually agreed reductions in offtake. So the extent to which production bottlenecks may create greater problems for Algeria’s clients in Italy, Spain and elsewhere in Europe continues to be a matter of conjecture. However, what is certain is that pipeline exports are relatively far down Algeria’s list of priorities for gas usage. The current focus for concern over supplies is Spain. A financial source warned African Energy in early June that “infrastructure issues and local demand” might “start to impact gas exports from Algeria into Spain quite meaningfully”.

Algeria
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President Nana Akufo-Addo has described energy supply as the most difficult problem facing Ghana, and has announced a review of existing power purchase agreements (PPAs). In his first state of the nation address on 21 February, Akufo-Addo told parliament the sector’s key problem was the cost of energy, and highlighted the growing debt burden of the various state companies. He said that, while power from the Akosombo dam cost $0.03/kWh to produce, the business tariff of $0.42/kWh was more than ten times the average in West Africa.

Ghana
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Licence awards to unknown companies have caused a storm in Sierra Leone, with government officials blaming a ‘transparent’ process imposed on them by external consultants for the controversy. Thalia Griffiths and Eleanor Gillespie investigate the exploration boom in an emerging Transform Margin play.

Sierra Leone
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President Macky Sall looked at his confident best on 12 June as he hosted a day of dialogue over the future shape of the oil and gas industry and the expected revenue boost to the Senegalese economy. The event sought to bring together politicians, business and civil society, but significant elements of the opposition boycotted the event in Dakar’s new conference centre. Sall’s opponents demand that the government should publish all the natural resources contracts it has signed to date.

Senegal
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The past four years have been a period of intense frustration for National Oil Corporation (NOC) and its international partners as persistent violence and political mayhem have cut oil production to one-quarter of the 1.6m b/d maximum and made it impossible to implement exploration and development plans. NOC’s inability to make progress on a practical level has not stopped it from working up new investment schemes, which it has presented to international oil companies (IOCs) in increasing detail over the past several years.

Libya
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New Era newspaper described black economic empowerment (BEE) entrepreneur Knowledge Katti as “one of the fastest growing [exclusive prospecting licence] EPL millionaires in the country”. Born in 1973 and raised by his grandmother in the Walvis Bay township of Kuisebmond, Katti came to international attention in 2008 when Canada’s Universal Power Corporation (UPC) announced

Namibia
Issue 239 - 20 September 2012

Botswana/South Africa: Coal deal

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A bilateral energy agreement signed by presidents Ian Khama and Jacob Zuma on 31 August has been greeted with a mixed reaction. The agreement is intended to lead to the export of coal from Botswana to South Africa.

Botswana | South Africa
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Energy and mines minister Youcef Yousfi led a high-level delegation of officials to London on 15 April, including senior executives from Sonatrach, Sonelgaz and regulator Agence Nationale pour la Valorisation des Ressources en Hydrocarbures (Alnaft). Yousfi’s visit was arranged as part of a UK government initiative to improve economic ties with Algeria. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has named the minister as his economic representative to the UK in response to Prime Minister David Cameron’s appointment of Lord Risby as the UK’s trade envoy to Algeria. Cameron has named envoys for each of the North African states.

Algeria
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Emergency plans were pushed through in August to help to alleviate the worst of Tanzania’s power rationing.  But there are understandable concerns about cost and corruption, and fears that larger projects will not come to fruition any time soon, writes Adrian J Browne.

Tanzania
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Private equity has a growing role to play in developing African infrastructure and building up companies, but the going can be tough for fund managers looking to tap conventional investors who feel comfortable in North America, Europe and many Asian markets

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More heads could roll following the crisis at Sonatrach as rival factions battle it out. Following the arrests that have savaged state hydrocarbons company Sonatrach’s senior management team, energy and mines minister Chakib Khelil stands at the centre of the ‘perfect storm’ that has engulfed Algerian politics (AE 179/1).

Algeria