The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the beginning of this week Brent Crude is trading at $52.28 per barrel, WTI at $47.31 per barrel and natural gas at $3.04 per million BTU (beginning of day 04 September 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

Kenya Presidential Vote Nullified, New Election to be Held

Kenya’s Supreme Court has nullified Kenya’s election results in the presidential election held on Aug. 08, and gave the government 60 days to hold new elections, according to The Guardian. The unprecedented ruling came after accusations of widespread vote rigging.

Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was initially announced the winner of the election, will again face off against long-time political rival Raila Odinga. Odinga filed the case shortly after the election results posted, claiming the elections were rigged with forged voting results and that the electoral commission was hacked.

CEMAC States Hit Hard by Oil Price Crash

Four of the six nations that make up the Central Africa Economic and Monetary Community have entered debt crisis programs with the International Monetary Fund, largely due to shocks caused by the oil price crash on the oil-dependent economies, according to an IMF blog post.

The IMF has approved support for Cameroon, Gabon, Chad and the Central African Republic, and is currently in negotiations with Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of the Congo, the two remaining members of the bloc.

In CEMAC, oil accounts for 60 percent of all exports and the countries’ saw oil revenues cut in half since the 2014 crash. The economic community has a current account deficient of 10 percent of output.

Tanzania Moves Ahead with 2,100 MW Power Plant

A long-delayed hydroelectric power plant planned for the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is moving forward with the bidding process. The 2,100 MW-project, while a game-changer for Tanzania’s energy capacity, had been delayed because of criticism from conservation activists and wildlife experts, who are concerned the damn will negatively impact habitat and wildlife downstream.

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals announced the deadline for bids as Oct. 16, and expects construction to be complete within three years, according to a Ministry release.

Nigeria Building First Domestic LNG Plant

In an effort to better utilize Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources, much of which is currently flared, Nigeria will truck LNG to regions not currently linked with a pipeline, according to Reuters. The LNG will be used to power electricity plants and provide residents with a cheaper, cleaner fuel.

Total’s Nigerian unit and the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria Ltd plan to deliver gas to a mini LNG plant, run by Nigeria’s Greenville LNG, which is expecting first gas in September. The plant will be the first domestic LNG plant in Nigeria.

Hurricane Harvey Hits US Fuel Supply

Hurricane Harvey slammed key centers of oil and gas production and refining located on the Gulf Coast, shutting down an estimated one-third of the United States’ oil refineries, or more than 2 million barrels of oil per day.

Production in the Eagle Ford Shale was down by about 300,000 barrels per day last week due to continued flooding and damage, according to the New York Times. The United States Energy Department also announced it will release 500,000 barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ease shortages in the US in the weeks to come.