Africa

These Oil Majors Just Made Egypt Their Highest Priority

17 Feb 2017   Egypt

Since 2011, political instability and regional insecurity have plagued Egypt’s economy, and the energy sector has not been spared. Until recently a net gas exporter, Egypt turned into a net importer in 2014 after political turmoil plunged the country into continued energy shortages, with domestic demand outstripping supply. In addition, shattered investor confidence and several devaluations of the local currency deterred foreign companies from investing in Egypt. But Cairo’s fortunes may have turned in August 2015, when Italy’s oil and gas major Eni SpA discovered Zohr, the largest gas field in the Mediterranean ever to be discovered. Now Eni, as well as UK’s supermajor BP, are betting big on the Egyptian gas exploration and production, and will be making Egypt their top investment destination in the coming years, pouring billions of dollars in their projects there. Eni plans to invest US$10 billion in Egypt over the next five years, […]

As Consultations Continue, Nigeria Records 58 Per Cent Decrease in Pipeline Vandalism in Niger Delta

17 Feb 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said on Thursday that it has recorded about 58 per cent reduction in cases of pipeline sabotage. This was disclosed in the Corporation’s monthly Financial and Operations Report for December 2016. According to the report, only 18 cases of vandalized points on downstream pipelines were recorded in November 2016 as against 43 in the previous month. The downward trend in the cases of pipeline sabotage, according to the report, was due to sustained engagement with stakeholders by the Federal Government and the NNPC. The federal government has been engaging leaders and stakeholders in the Niger Delta to ensure security of oil and gas facilities as well as development of the region. Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari met with a delegation of leaders and public officials in the Niger Delta. The presidency, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has since followed that up with […]

Libya Crude Output Rises as Work Conditions for Big Oil Improve

16 Feb 2017   Libya

Libya’s crude production exceeded 700,000 barrels a day and is due to keep rising as working conditions in the conflict-ridden country improved for international companies like Eni SpA and Total SA , an official from the state oil company said. The North African country’s crude production is due to reach 1.2 million barrels a day by August and 1.7 million by March 2018 when the nation’s ports and export terminals will be operating at full capacity, Jadalla Alaokali, board member of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said in an interview in Cairo. Output at the El Feel, or Elephant, oil field is due to resume within one month, pumping 75,000 barrels a day, he said. Eni and Total are working in Libya without difficulty and Schlumberger Ltd . resumed operations in the country about three months ago, he said. Eni is due to start production from an offshore area in […]

Oil companies bullish on Egypt, eyeing more investment, discoveries

15 Feb 2017   Egypt

Major international oil companies say they plan to step up their investments in Egypt, expecting to find more oil and gas now that ENI’s giant Zohr gas discovery has put its Mediterranean waters on the map. Once a net gas exporter, Egypt has turned into a major importer in recent years as growing domestic demand outstripped production, but the discovery of the 850 billion-cubic meter Zohr field in 2015 is expected to change that. The field is expected to come into production by the end of the year and will save Egypt billions of dollars in hard currency that would otherwise be spent on imports. The Egyptian government is also seeking to attract foreign investors as it seeks to transform itself into a gas trading hub for its own and other emerging Mediterranean producers. Marc Benayoun, chief executive of Italian energy group Edison, which is exploring areas near the […]

Eni, BP Pouring More Investment Into Egypt Than Anywhere Else

15 Feb 2017   Egypt

Eni SpA will start producing from the giant Zohr natural gas field off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast by the end of 2017 and plans to invest $10 billion in the North African country over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi said. Production plans for Zohr are on schedule, and Egypt will be Eni’s top country for investment in the next two years, Descalzi said at a conference in Cairo. BP Plc, which bought a 10 percent stake in Zohr from Eni last year, invested more in Egypt in 2016 than in any other country and will do so again this year, the company’s CEO Bob Dudley said at the same event. “Some pretty good things are happening here for BP, like Eni,” Dudley said on Tuesday. “In 2016-17 we’re investing more money in Egypt than any country in the world, so this is important for us, we […]

Nigeria Loses Up to $100 Billion in Revenue as Attacks Cut Oil

15 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria said it lost out on as much as $100 billion in revenue last year as attacks by militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta cut crude output to a record low. Production fell by 1 million barrels a day to 1.2 million a day at the peak of the attacks, Emmanuel Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum, said Tuesday in a video-clip on his Facebook page. Last year, Nigeria suffered its first full-year recession since 1991 as a resurgence of armed conflict in the delta, combined with lower oil prices, blighted the economy. While recent peace efforts have curbed the frequency of attacks on oil infrastructure, the West African nation has struggled to boost output as one of its largest export terminals remains closed. “We continue to engage,” Kachikwu said, referring to peace talks between the government and local leaders from the delta. “It is a difficult undertaking to […]

Mafia, Guns And Clans: The Big Libyan Oil Heist

13 Feb 2017   Libya

Libya’s oil production problems extend far beyond whether the forces of Tripoli or Benghazi secure ultimate control over the country: Clan-based militias are running their own smuggling operations, and their mafia reach is said to extend as far as the Coast Guard—and even into Europe. This smuggled oil is making its way into Europe, and Libya authorities say it has cost the state US$360 million so far, at a time when the country is producing only 715,000 barrels per day , down from its Ghaddafi heydays of 1.6 million bpd. The post-Ghaddafi chaos has created some great business opportunities in both human trafficking and oil smuggling. According to a stellar and rare (these days) piece of investigative reporting by Italian journalist Frecesca Mannocchi, the western coastal strip of Libya running from Zawya to Sabratha is a smuggler’s paradise, with the local police and coast guard complicit in lucrative oil […]

Nigerian Vice President Visits Niger Delta To Restart Peace Talks

11 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited the Niger Delta on Friday in a move that could bring peace to the oil-producing region after almost a year of militant and separatist conflict, which has seriously stunted national energy output. The African petrostate depends on oil exports for 70 percent of government revenues, but last year’s attacks by the Niger Delta Avengers and other related groups saw production drops anywhere from one-third to one-half of full capacity, depending on the time of year. Due to the decreased output, Nigeria received an exemption from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) recent deal to reduce output by 1.5 million barrels per day over the first six months of 2017. The NDA and related groups argue against Lagos’ diversion of oil profits away from states in the Niger Delta, where funds are needed for further infrastructural and economic development. A previous attempt at […]

Nigeria Rescues Oil Tanker From High-Seas Pirates

10 Feb 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian Navy has rescued an oil tanker from pirates near Bonny Island, even as the number of high-seas hijackers is at an 18-year low, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). Nigerian Navy Captain Sulieman Dahun said the naval forces rescued the MT Gas Providence oil tanker, which came under pirate attack on Wednesday in River State, just off Bonny Island. The vessels 21 crew members were rescued after sending off a distress signal received by the Navy. It was the second failed hijacking attempt in the area this week. A Nigerian naval vessel also thwarted at a pirate attack on a second oil tanker, MT Rio Spirit. In 2016, there were 36 recorded incidences of high-seas piracy in Nigeria—more than double the number of incidences the year before. There has also been an increase of high-seas kidnappings in Nigeria. That said, from a global perspective, the new […]

Can Natural Gas Rescue Algeria’s Ailing Economy?

9 Feb 2017   Algeria

Algeria is paving the way for a stronger natural gas export profile in Europe, building off of preexisting relationships with Spain, Italy and Portugal, Forbes reported earlier this year. But efforts to restore growth based off energy sector expansion have a limited chance of revitalizing success as two years of low oil prices bear down on government revenues. “Boosting existing fields and new fields coming online this year will push output up,” Sonatrach’s CEO Amine Mazouzi said in January. The Algerian economy needs large-scale government reforms to improve the prospects for its populace in the short and medium terms—and not just the lackluster reforms that entrenched officials have already been pursuing to encourage new businesses and balance the budget by increasing the tax burden on citizens. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has spent the last 18 years building a system that offers Algerians subsidized fuel and food for loyalty and national […]

Angola adds to supply-side strains for oil

9 Feb 2017   Angola

Italian energy company Eni said Wednesday it started production at an oil facility off the coast of Angola in record-setting fashion. The company said operations started at its East Hub project in deep Angolan waters using an offshore floating production vessel capable of generating up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day. The facility can also process a significant volume of natural gas. “We are beginning production of the East Hub with a time-to-market of only 3 years, and 5 months ahead of schedule,” CEO Claudio Descalzi said in a statement . Eni said the new production will add to legacy assets offshore Angola, where another production vessel is already in place. In total, the Italian company said its assets there could peak at 150,000 bpd this year. Angola is […]

Italian Prosecutors Request Eni CEO, Shell Stand Trial

9 Feb 2017   Italy, Nigeria

Italian prosecutors are pursuing a criminal trial for Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the chief executive of Italian oil company Eni SpA on charges of corruption tied to a controversial Nigerian deal, according to a person familiar with the matter. The prosecutors’ request—if granted by a judge over the next several months—could lay bare the operations of Shell and the actions of Eni executives in pursuit of a potentially giant…

More oil than thought offshore Senegal

8 Feb 2017   Senegal

Africa-focused energy company FAR Ltd. said a review of its oil prospects off the coast of Senegal was more promising than initially thought. FAR has nearly 3,000 square miles off the coast of Senegal under license and achieved discoveries already in its FAN and SNE wells. Data from seismic surveys used to get a better understanding of the resource potential offshore Senegal led the company to increase its estimate of undrilled prospective oil barrels by more than 50 percent. “The prospectivity of FAR’s offshore Senegal acreage is extremely exciting,” Managing Director Cath Norman said in a statement . By the company’s estimates, more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil may be in basins off the coast of Senegal. […]

Nigeria Struggles to Boost Oil Output; That’s Good for OPEC

8 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s progress in curbing militant attacks hasn’t much boosted its oil output. While that’s bad news for a country mired in its worst economic slump in 25 years, it’s making life easier for fellow OPEC members. Africa’s largest economy was pumping about 1.5 million barrels a day late last month, 30 percent below what it was hoping to achieve and only a modest recovery from an almost 30-year low of 1.4 million in August. While peace efforts have curbed the frequency of attacks in the oil-rich Niger River delta, the Forcados export terminal, the country’s third largest, remains closed and shipments are down at many others. If these disruptions persist they could have an unintended consequence: helping the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boost oil prices. “Bringing the Forcados loading terminal back into action is key for Nigeria’s exports,” said Charles Swabey, an oil and gas analyst at BMI […]

Nigeria to Stop Fuel Importion By 2019 – Kachikwu

8 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria will stop importing refined petroleum products by 2019, Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said on Tuesday in Abuja. Mr. Kachikwu said this at a public hearing on the review of petroleum pricing template for petrol organised by the House of Representatives. He said that within two years, the Federal Government revived refineries that were non-functional to contribute about eight million out of over 20 million litres of petrol consumed in the country daily. He explained that the Federal Government initiated a model which attracted foreign investors to partner with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to repair the country’s refineries within the two-year period. “This has consistently served as a target for this government so that by December 2018, NNPC must be able to deliver on some of the terms given them, one of which is to reduce petroleum importation by 60 per cent. […]

Egypt to Import LNG With an Eye on Self-Sufficiency in 2018

7 Feb 2017   Egypt

Egypt plans to import as many as 108 cargoes of liquefied natural gas this year as the country prepares to start producing at two gas fields and move closer to its goal of self-sufficiency and even exports by 2019. The North African nation will import 100 to 108 LNG shipments this year, including 43 to 45 cargoes in government-to-government contracts from Oman, Russia’s Rosneft PJSC and France’s Engie SA , according to a person familiar with the matter. The remaining imports will be arranged through a tender to be announced in November, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Imports may be reduced in 2018 as BP Plc’s North Alexandria concession works to start gas production in April and Eni SpA ’s giant Zohr field plans to produce by the end of the year, the person said. BP bought a 10 percent […]

Trading giant Glencore extends major Libyan oil deal: sources

6 Feb 2017   Libya

Swiss-based commodities giant Glencore has extended a deal with Libya’s state oil firm to be the sole marketer of one third of the country’s current crude oil production, sources familiar with the matter said. It was not clear for how long Glencore would continue to have exclusivity over the output and whether some parts of the deal would be renegotiated. The deal extends Glencore’s dominance over rivals such as Vitol and Trafigura in handling barrels from the North African country for a second year running. A spokesman for Glencore declined to comment. Officials at Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) also declined to comment. Libya has struggled for years to end a crippling blockade of its oil ports amid a civil war and Islamic State intrusions. Between security fears […]

Egypt Explores for Natural Gas With Eye on Exports by 2019

3 Feb 2017   Egypt

Egypt may announce new discoveries of natural gas by the second half of this year, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said, bringing it closer to its goal of self-sufficiency by 2019. Egypt will start exporting natural gas in 2019, Mohamed El Masry, chairman of Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co ., told reporters in Cairo. It will import 43 to 45 cargoes of liquefied natural gas between March and December this year from Oman, Russia’s Rosneft PJSC, and France’s Engie SA , to be paid over six months, he said. The Arab world’s most populous country relies on imports to meet its energy needs. Costs have risen sharply since November, when the government allowed the pound to float and raised interest rates in a bid to restore confidence in its economy. Rosneft agreed in December to buy as much as 35 percent of the Shorouk concession, joining Eni SpA and […]

Nigeria Crude Exports to Hit 1.62mbpd in March

2 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s crude oil exports are on track for a month-on-month rise in March after a string of loading delays pushed back some cargoes. Exports are slated to reach 1.62 million barrels per day (bpd) in March on 55 cargoes, up from a revised February loading schedule of 1.48 million bpd on 46 cargoes. Shipments of Erha and Qua Iboe that were originally planned to load in February were deferred, adding to the March exports and taking away from the original February plan of 1.62 million bpd, loading programmes compiled by Reuters revealed. Meanwhile, Oil prices fell yesterday as news of another weekly increase in the United States drilling activity had oil forecasters concerned that production cuts from other producing nations may not reduce the global supply glut as much as had been hoped. Global benchmark Brent crude oil prices settled down 29 cents at $55.23 a barrel, while U.S. […]

West Africa Oil Floods to Asia in Latest Sign of OPEC Impact

1 Feb 2017   West Africa

West African oil producers will next month send the most crude to Asia in at least five years, the latest sign of how refineries in the world’s biggest demand region are scouring the world to replace supplies cut by OPEC’s Middle East producers. Shipments on the trade route, among the longest for supertankers, are set to soar to 2.19 million barrels a day in February, the highest level since at least August 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from traders. China and India will be the biggest buyers. In recent weeks, a similar picture emerged from both the North Sea , where unprecedented eastbound flows have been observed, and also the U.S. “Production cuts have led to the shortage of Middle Eastern oil in Asia,” said Ehsan Ul-Haq, principal consultant at KBC Advanced Technologies . “As a result, regional refiners have been forced to buy crude from the […]

Nigeria: Niger Delta Villagers Can’t Sue Shell in UK for Nigerian Oil Spill, Court Rules

28 Jan 2017   Nigeria

A UK High Court yesterday ruled that two Niger Delta communities devastated by oil spills cannot pursue their case against Shell in the United Kingdom for oil spills that occurred in Nigeria. The court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell could not be held responsible for the actions of its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC). But in its reaction to the ruling, Amnesty International said it could rob the communities of justice and allow UK multinationals to commit abuses overseas with impunity. “The Ogale and Bille communities have been hit by multiple Shell spills, threatening their health and drinking water. The UN found groundwater contamination in Ogale was more than 450 times the legal limit – when Amnesty investigators went back four years later, Shell still hadn’t cleaned up the pollution. “This ruling could mean that the communities will never receive meaningful compensation, and that […]

Angola’s March Oil Exports To Drop To 1.51 Million Bpd

28 Jan 2017   Angola

Angola’s state-held oil firm Sonangol plans to load 1.51 million barrels per day in March under its finalized exports schedule, down from plans to export 1.62 million bpd in February, Reuters reported on Friday, citing a copy of the loading program it had seen. Some dates for shipping crude have been altered, but the March volumes are the same as released in the loading schedule from ten days ago, Reuters said. Most of the oil in the March schedule is already traded and a large part of it is bound for Asia, where demand for medium and heavy crude grades is solid. An OPEC member and one of Africa’s biggest producers, Angola pledged to cut 78,000 bpd of its production as part of the cartel’s deal to curtail supply in the hope of rebalancing the oil market and lifting crude oil prices. Early this month, Sonangol said that it […]

Nigeria Tells Shell, Eni to Temporarily Cede Oil Field Control

28 Jan 2017   Nigeria

A Nigerian court has ordered Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA to cede control of a jointly owned oil license to the government amid an investigation into how they purchased the asset. The companies’ control of Oil Prospecting License 245 is suspended pending “investigation and prosecution of suspects” including companies and individuals accused of possible “acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering,” according to documents from the Federal High Court in Abuja. “We are aware of media reports but we have not received any notification,” Eni said in an e-mailed statement. “Eni denies any wrongdoing in respect of its acquisition of a participation interest in the block OPL from the Nigerian government.” Shell spokesman Precious Okolobo declined to comment. Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which has been investigating the sale of the license, requested the suspension, spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said by phone. He couldn’t say […]

Libya’s oil sector may be opening to foreigners

26 Jan 2017   Libya

Libya plans to start opening the doors to foreign investors that may be ready to step back into the country’s oil sector, a national oil company announced. Mustafa Sanalla, the chairman of the Libyan National Oil Corp., said all major export arteries out of the country are open following at least three years of conflict-linked blockades. Speaking at a conference in London, the chairman said it was now time to open the country up for foreign investments. “We intend in the coming months to lift our self-imposed moratorium since 2011 on foreign investment in new projects to achieve the best national interest for the Libyan oil sector and for Libya as a state,” he said. Libya is exempt from a managed decline agreement organized […]

Economic Recovery in Nigeria Hobbled by Oil, Currency Policy

26 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s economy may struggle to rebound from its worst slump in 25 years unless President Muhammadu Buhari can end an armed conflict in the nation’s oil-producing region and fix a currency policy that’s blocked investment. Pipeline attacks in the Niger River delta cut oil production by a third last year, slashing government revenue, while central bank intervention and trading restrictions that prop up the value of the naira have stymied trade and investment. A more favorable oil and foreign-currency environment could help the economy expand, analysts say. The International Monetary Fund estimates gross domestic product contracted 1.5 percent in 2016. “It’s oil prices and production from the delta that will determine growth,” Ogho Okiti, chief executive officer of Time Economics Ltd., said on Wednesday from Abuja, the capital. “When monetary authorities floated the naira, they expected fiscal policies that attract investment and boost activity. But that didn’t happen, and […]

Fitch Downgrades Nigerian Rating Outlook on Dollar Shortages

26 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Fitch Ratings Ltd. revised the outlook on Nigeria to negative from stable over concerns that a lack of foreign exchange will hamper the economy, and affirmed the West African nation’s rating at B+, four steps below investment grade. While Nigeria’s economy will probably expand at 1.5 percent this year, after contracting by an estimated 1.5 percent in 2016, the non-oil industry will continue to be constrained by foreign-currency shortages, the ratings company said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. “Access to foreign exchange will remain severely restricted until the Central Bank of Nigeria can establish the credibility of the interbank foreign-exchange market and bring down the spread between the official rate and the parallel market rates,” Fitch said. The central bank removed a currency peg in June but continued to intervene to keep the naira at about 315 against the U.S. dollar, compared with almost 500 on the parallel […]

How The Saudi Rift With Egypt Is Spiraling Out Of Control

25 Jan 2017   Egypt, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s rift with Egypt is spiraling out of control, with major strategic ramifications for both countries, as well as for the Yemen conflict and other Red Sea security challenges. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait had built solid economic and political ties following the election victory of Pres. Abdul Fatah Saeed Hussein Khalil al-Sisi in May 2014, with promises of extensive economic support for Egypt as Cairo’s relations with the US Barack Obama Administration withered. But Saudi Arabia and the UAE failed to make good on their promises of economic aid to, and investment in, Egypt, while at the same time the Saudi Government put immense pressure on Egypt to support its military offensive in Yemen. The crisis began over Pres. al-Sisi’s refusal to accept the dominance in the Saudi-Egypt relationship of Saudi Minister of Defense & Aviation and Deputy Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin […]

Libya’s Oil Output Is at Three-Year High and Rising

25 Jan 2017   Libya

OPEC Cuts Won’t Debt Global Inventories Libya is pumping 715,000 barrels a day of oil, the most since 2014, and is on track to keep boosting output this year as the country restores much of the production lost amid political chaos and conflict, the state oil company’s chairman said. Blockades at the North African state’s main oil ports have ended, and output may reach 1.25 million barrels a day by year end of 2017, National Oil Corp. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said Tuesday at a conference in London. Additional production may create a challenge for OPEC and other major suppliers that agreed to pump less crude starting Jan. 1 in an effort to end a global glut. “Every single major oil-export route is now open, although some are operating at significantly reduced levels due to damage suffered in conflicts,” Sanalla said, according to the text of his speech. “For […]

Libya Says Oil Sector Open Again for Business

25 Jan 2017   Libya

Libya intends to reopen its oil sector to new foreign investments, its state-run oil company’s chief said Tuesday, a move that would give oil companies the opportunity to develop the largest petroleum reserves in Africa for the first time in five years. Libya froze all new foreign investment in 2011 after the civil war that toppled strongman Moammar Gadhafi. International oil companies such as Total SA of France and ConocoPhillips have long had operations in Libya, and Eni SpA of Italy has found ways to keep…

Is Libya A Bigger Threat To Oil Prices Than U.S. Shale?

25 Jan 2017   Libya

Despite some suggestions that oil prices will level off at around $60 in 2017, since the initial surge of the OPEC production deal prices have barely nudged above $53. Over the long-term, outlooks are more bearish than bullish, and a major reason for that is the strong likelihood of increased production in three places: Libya, Nigeria and Iran. All three countries were effectively exempt from the OPEC production cuts, for various reasons. Iran has agreed to keep its production level below 4 million bpd, allowing it to add about 90,000 bpd to its production level. Nigeria has suffered significant cuts to production over the last year, chiefly due to the activities of militants in the Niger River Delta. Libya has been torn apart by civil war and a fight between its recognized government and separatists in its eastern regions, with the country’s rich oil fields and refineries the major […]

GE proposes investing in Nigeria’s ailing oil refineries

25 Jan 2017   Nigeria

General Electric Co ( GE.N ) has proposed investing in Nigeria’s oil refineries, potentially convening a consortium of companies to improve capacity at the run-down facilities. GE’s plan and similar promises from companies like Italy’s Eni ( ENI.MI ) to work with Nigeria to rehabilitate the country’s three oil refineries could help the government as it tries to reduce costly imported oil products. The work was raised during a meeting with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), a GE spokeswoman said late on Tuesday. “We propose that work commences either with the Warri or Port Harcourt refinery as a pilot, as we set a target to improve the refinery capacity before the end of 2017,” GE told the NNPC, according to a statement from the state oil firm. Imports are consuming […]

Angolan Fund Says China Exim Will Lend $600 Million for New Port

25 Jan 2017   Angola, China

The Export-Import Bank of China is lending Angola as much as $600 million for the construction of a deep-sea port in the northern enclave of Cabinda, according to Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the chairman of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund. The first phase of the port, which will include a 630-meter (2,070-foot) container terminal, ship-repair facilities, warehouses, a power plant and a free-trade zone, will be completed in the second half of this year, Dos Santos said in an interview in London on Tuesday. The work is being carried out by a Chinese construction company. Fundo Soberano de Angola, the wealth fund known by its Portuguese acronym FSDEA , is investing $180 million from its infrastructure fund in return for a 50 percent stake in Caio Porto, the company operating the project, Dos Santos said. The other half is owned by Angolan investors whom Dos Santos declined to identify. The […]

Nigeria Sees Oil Hitting Mid-$60s in Coming Months as OPEC Bites

25 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Oil Reaches Mid-$60s in Months Crude oil prices, hovering around $55 a barrel since early December, will climb by about $10 in the coming months as OPEC-led measures to curb a glut take hold, Nigeria’s oil minister said. “Ultimately, the effects over the next few months will get us to where we want to be, which is in the mid-$60s,” Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Rome. Oil surged at the end of November and in early December after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries surprised the market with output cuts and enlisted the help of non-member suppliers to eliminate a surplus. While militant attacks on its energy infrastructure meant Nigeria itself was spared from having to pump less, OPEC could ask for its participation, Kachikwu said. Nigeria is now seeking […]

60,000 Bpd Offline In Libya After Technical Malfunction

24 Jan 2017   Libya

After an electrical failure at the Sarir oilfield caused by a fire at a substation, Libya’s oil production has fallen by 60,000 barrels per day , National Oil Corp. head Mustafa Sanalla said on Monday. The authorities have not yet offered any details as to when the production will be back online, or how much damage was caused by the fire. Prior to the malfunction, production was about 700,000 barrels per day at of the start of January, and Libya is eyeing a production of 900,000 barrels per day within the next few months and 1 million barrels per day by the end of this year. Libya has managed to more than double its crude oil output from 300,000 bpd in September, thanks to the reopening of oil ports in the Oil Crescent, which were held for nearly two years and used as bargaining chips by the Petroleum Forces […]

New drilling underway in Senegalese hot spot

24 Jan 2017   Senegal

Australian oil and gas explorer FAR Ltd., which has a strong African footprint, said new drilling started in a survey of a bright spot off the coast of Senegal. FAR said it started drilling a new appraisal well , SNE-5, in the SNE complex off the Senegalese coast. The company said information taken from the new appraisal program will help “fine-tune” the concept for full field development. “This area represents one of the world’s most attractive emerging basins for oil and gas exploration,” Managing Director Cath Norman said in a statement. The company estimates the SNE field could hold up to 641 million barrels of oil. Its development comes as the energy sector rebounds alongside crude oil prices and FAR, […]

Nigeria: Militants Didn’t Blowup Pipeline in Ughelli, Says Military

20 Jan 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian Military has denied reports that militants blew an oil pipeline in Delta State after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s visit, saying it was a bush-burning incidence that was put under control immediately. A statement issued by the Director, Defence Information (DDI), Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, yesterday in Abuja said: “The report to say the least is not only a ruse but a complete imagination of its author as the said incident was a bush burning, which was immediately put under control. This prompt action prevented environmental catastrophe that the incident might have caused’. According to some observers of the peace efforts of the present government, the incidence was an indication that the visit of Osinbajo to the Niger Delta region was a wasted effort, as action, which supposedly happened in Ughelli, Delta State, would have been in apparent defiance of the “efforts of the Federal Government at […]

Fire reported at Nigerian oil pipeline

19 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Citing possible terrorism, Nigerian media reported Wednesday an oil pipeline was on fire less than a day after the vice president was in an oil-rich region. Nigerian newspaper Vanguard reported an oil pipeline controlled by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. was on fire in the oil-rich Niger Delta, “sparking fears of attacks by suspected militants.” No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and the newspaper said it couldn’t verify the cause of the blaze, which was said to have been extinguished by midday Wednesday in Nigeria. A militant group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers emerged last year with a campaign of violence aimed at pressuring the government to distribute the nation’s oil wealth in a more equal fashion. In an […]

Tullow finds more oil in Kenya’s northern Lokichar basin

18 Jan 2017   Kenya

Tullow Oil has found more oil with a closely watched exploration well in northwest Kenya, boosting the resources in its emerging oil province which is set to feed East Africa’s newest crude export hub. The Erut-1 well in Block 13T discovered 25 meters of net oil pay at a depth of 700 meters with an overall oil column of 100 to 125 metres, Tullow said. The well, the first of a four-well exploration and appraisal program which began last month, was drilled 10 km north of the Etom field and logging indicates the presence of recoverable oil, the company said. “This is an exciting discovery from a bold exploration well that proves that oil has migrated to the northern limit of the South Lokichar basin,” Tullow’s Exploration Director Angus McCoss said in a statement. Tullow has discovered 750 million barrels of recoverable resources in the Lokichar basin following a […]

Egypt set for a gas turnaround

13 Jan 2017   Egypt

The Egyptian natural gas sector is on track for an about-face, though complex dynamics could keep pressure on the industry, Wood Mackenzie found. Italian energy company Eni in December secured the bulk of the new exploration and production concessions offered by the Egyptian government during the latest bidding round . The company made its initial gas discovery in the Zohr field in August 2015 and quickly described it as the largest ever made in regional waters and potentially the largest in the world. A profile of the Egyptian gas sector from consultant group Wood Mackenzie finds the sector is on pace for a profound change in the next five years. “After swinging from the world’s eighth […]

Libya Ramps Up Oil Production, Threatening OPEC Plans

11 Jan 2017   Libya

Libya’s crude-oil production has more than tripled in the past six months, imposing an obstacle to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ plans to raise petroleum prices by collectively lowering output. Oil prices have surged 19% to more than $55 a barrel since OPEC’s Nov. 30 deal to throttle down its output by about 4%, but the surge in Libyan production challenges a bet the cartel made against the North African country. OPEC exempted Libya from any requirement to cut because the country has been riven by…

Sonangol considering return to Iraq

11 Jan 2017   Angola, Iraq

Three years after security problems forced them out, Iraq is courting the Angolan state firm back to the Qayarah and Najmah fields. Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi (right) meets in his office with Edson dos Santos, executive administrator of Sonangol. (Source: Oil Ministry press office) Sonangol executives are considering whether – and when – to return to two oil projects south of Mosul, long plagued by security problems, which the company left just before the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) group launched its invasion of much of northern Iraq.Earlier this week in Baghdad, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi met a Sonangol delegation led by Executive Administrator Edson dos Santos.Company leaders expect to discuss the prospect of returning to Iraq over the coming… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free […]

Nigeria Reclaims Africa’s Top Oil Producer Spot

11 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria may have reclaimed its position as Africa’s top oil producer which it lost to fellow African oil producer, Angola earlier in March 2016. According to the December 2016 Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), crude oil production from Nigeria rose slightly above that of Angola even before the January 2017 planned production cut agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Angola would be expected to cut about 78,000 barrels per day (bd) of its production in the agreement which was sealed in late 2016. But secondary sources in the MOMR indicated that in November, Nigeria and Angola produced 1.692 million barrels (mb) of oil apiece. Similarly, information from primary sources in the MOMR stated that Nigeria produced 1.782mb of oil as against Angola’s 1.688mb to show its takeover of Angola by about 94,000bd. “According to secondary sources, OPEC crude oil […]

Nigeria: Fuel Scarcity Looms As Nation’s Marketers Fail to Repay Loans

11 Jan 2017   Nigeria

The inability of petroleum marketers to pay or service banks loans in the last two years is threatening further importation and could worsen the financial position of banks. The marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs) said in a communiqué yesterday that members owe some banks as much as N305 billion ($1 billion) which has increased to N465 billion due to accumulated interest. They cited government’s discontinuation of the fuel subsidy regime and failure to pay outstanding arrears before the new pricing regime as reasons for their problems. Already funding for fuel imports is affected and this could create product scarcity and raise pump prices. The scarcity of kerosene worsened yesterday in Lagos, Calabar, Kano and Kaduna states as a litre of the product sold for N400. Unresolved issues on funds borrowed for fuel imports could also negatively impact banks’ profitability as they will be […]

Total Pays $900 Million for Control of Ugandan Oil Project

10 Jan 2017   Uganda

An oil exploration tower in Lake Albert, Uganda. Total SA agreed to buy a stake in a project in Uganda from Tullow Oil Plc for $900 million as a recovery in crude prices accelerates the pace of deals in the energy industry. French oil major Total will acquire a controlling stake in the Lake Albert development, the companies said Monday in separate statements. Total will pay an initial $100 million in cash, with another $100 million split equally when the project gets sanctioned and when it first starts pumping oil. The remaining $700 million is a “deferred consideration,” used by Tullow to fund its share of the costs. “Our increased share in the Lake Albert project will bring significant value to Total and fits with our strategy of acquiring resources for less than $3 a barrel with upside potential,” Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement. The […]

Nigeria remains upbeat over tentative output recovery

7 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Despite intractable militancy and ongoing theft from pipelines which has hobbled its oil production, Nigeria’s government remains resolutely upbeat over its plans to turn things around in 2017. Nigeria, which has been exempted from the OPEC deal to cut output from January, hopes to pull its economy out of recession on the back of the upswing in global crude prices and restore oil production to at least 2.2 million b/d, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari said in early December. Negotiations with militants in the Niger Delta to end attacks on oil facilities are also progressing and a new funding scheme for upstream ventures with foreign partners was recently agreed. For now, Africa’s biggest oil producer continues to suffer from the oil price downturn as oil accounts for about 90% of its foreign exchange earnings and about 80% of the government’s total revenue. The Nigerian economy slipped further into recession in […]

Shell battles Nigerian communities in high-stakes London lawsuit

7 Jan 2017   Nigeria

A court in London will decide in coming weeks whether Royal Dutch Shell can face trial in the UK over oil spill allegations in Nigeria, a decision some legal experts predict could attract more cases against multinationals in Britain. The High Court will judge whether members from two communities, Bille and Ogale in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta region, can sue the Anglo-Dutch company in British courts. The communities say Nigerian courts are unfit to hear the case against Shell subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). Shell says the case should be heard in Nigeria because the matter is “uniquely a Nigerian problem”. Shell also denies responsibility for the spills, which it says were due to sabotage and illegal refining. If the High Court rules in favor of the communities, some […]

Libya To Re-Open Last Major Oil Export Terminal

6 Jan 2017   Libya

Libya is about to re-open the last major oil terminal that has been shut due to factions fighting in a move that would allow it to further increase oil exports, potentially putting pressure on oil prices and on fellow OPEC members that have just started cutting output in a bid to stabilize prices and speed up the drawdown of the inventory glut. Libya’s Zawiya export terminal is getting ready to restart its exports after the pipeline carrying crude to it was re-opened, Bloomberg reports, quoting an official at the National Oil Corporation (NOC). The imminent re-opening of the Zawiya export terminal means that all nine major oil ports in the country will be shipping oil. At the end of December, the NOC said that the pipelines connecting the Sharara oil field to Zawiya refinery, and the El-Feel (Elephant) oil field to the Mellitah complex, had been re-opened. The Sharara […]

Shell Pipeline Fire Threatens to Deepen Nigerian Oil Output Drop

6 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell Plc shut the Trans Niger oil pipeline after a fire, threatening to worsen a drop in Nigerian output due to unplanned disruptions. The line can transport about 180,000 barrels a day to the Bonny Export Terminal in the Niger Delta was halted Tuesday due to a blaze at Kpor in Ogoniland, Precious Okolobo, a company spokesman in Lagos, said Thursday by phone. Shell declined to comment on the impact on production. Nigeria’s daily output dropped by 200,000 barrels to 1.45 million in December, ending three months of gains as the African nation struggled to restore capacity after a year of militant attacks on oil infrastructure. Production fell to 1.39 million barrels in August, the lowest level since 1988, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Libya Oil-Export Terminal Said to Re-Open as Output Rises

5 Jan 2017   Libya

Libya is re-opening its last major oil-export terminal that shut amid the conflict hobbling output in the country with Africa’s largest crude reserves. The Zawiya terminal is preparing to resume exports after the pipeline supplying it was re-opened, an official at the state-run National Oil Corp. said Wednesday, asking not to be identified for lack of authorization to speak to news media. With Zawiya shipping, all nine of Libya’s main oil ports would be exporting. The country is revving up its oil industry just as most of its OPEC peers are cutting production to counter a glut. Libya currently pumps 700,000 barrels a day of oil, the NOC official said. That’s up from 580,000 barrels a day in November and 520,000 in October, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The North African country plans to almost double output in 2017. Last month it re-opened two of its biggest oil fields […]

Nigeria Targets 2.6 Million Barrels Per Day Refining Capacity

5 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria may be on the path to becoming self-sufficient in the production of petroleum products, as the Federal Government expects to increase the country’s refining capacity from 445,000 barrels per day to 2.62 million barrels per day. To achieve this, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has granted licences to 22 private firms to establish refineries, which are expected to produce 1.97 million barrels per day in the short, medium and long period. If these refineries come on stream, the country is expected to save over $15 billion yearly from the importation of petroleum products, create jobs and meet the needs of industrial firms, which depend on by-products from refineries. Already, nine companies have submitted bids for co-location of new refineries within the complexes of Nigeria’s three existing refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt, which are expected to increase the nation’s refining capacity from 445,000 barrels per day […]