The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the close of this week Brent Crude is trading at $46.96 per barrel, WTI at $44.38 per barrel and natural gas at $2.92 per million BTU (beginning of day 07 July 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

African Petroleum Shares Plunge After Gambia Talks Dissolve

African Petroleum has had a rocky week, after The Gambia’s Oil Minister Fafa Sanyang announced the country has ended negotiations to extend the company’s exploration rights on two offshore areas.

African Petroleum shares fell dramatically since Tuesday, though the company denies the claims that the licenses have expired.

“The Board states categorically that our ownership of the licenses has expired is wrong both in law and in fact. The Board states categorically that the licenses have not been terminated in accordance with the terms of the Licenses, nor have they expired,” a company statement said.

Jens Pace, CEO of African Petroleum, said the company plans to utilize “dispute mechanism provisions” in the license agreement if necessary. H.E. Fafa Sanyang has since said The Gambia will seek legal advice, according to The New York Times.

Tullow Oil Farms-Out Namibia Shares

India’s ONGC Videsh signed binding agreements last month to acquire a 30 percent participating interest in Tullow Oil’s Namibia Petroleum Exploration License 0037 for offshore Blocks 2112A, 2012B and 2113B in Namibia, according to the Economic Times.

Tullow Oil, through its subsidiary Tullow Namibia Limited, currently has a 65 percent interest in the license and is the operator. The deal is subject to approval by the Namibian government and through the joint venture partners, Pancontinental Namibia (Pty) Limited (30%) and Paragon Oil and Gas (Pty) Limited (5%).

Tlou Energy Applies for Botswana CBM Project

Australia-based Tlou Energy Limited has submitted an application for a mining lease of the Lesedi Coal Bed Methane Project in Botswana, according to Rigzone.

If awarded the license, the company hopes to use CBM resource to develop a gas-to-power project in Botswana.

NNPC Saved $2 bn on Upstream Service Contracts

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has saved $2 billion in the last year after it renegotiated oil and gas service contracts, according to Reuters.

The state-owned oil company announced the achievement as it attempts to cut overhead and boost oil production. At the same time, NNPC cut operating costs from $27 per barrel to $22 per barrel.

China Development Bank Loans $1.5 bn to Eskom

South Africa’s state-owned power utility has taken out a $1.5 billion loan from the China Development Bank, in an effort to secure financing for the Medupi Power Plant and continue to secure energy supply for South Africa, according to ESI Africa.

The Medupi Power Plant, a coal-fired facility, was commissioned in 2015 and should be 4764MW when completed.