The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the beginning of this week Brent Crude is trading at $58.40 per barrel, WTI at $52.31 per barrel and natural gas at $2.93 per million BTU (beginning of day 16 October 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

Nigeria to Review Power Privatization

Saying that privatization has not worked in Nigeria, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning of Nigeria, Zainab Ahmed, has said the government will begin a review of the private power sector, according to ESI Africa.

The review will begin with 11 electricity distribution companies. Nigeria began the process to privatize power in 2010.

“The power sector has been privatized but I’m sure every Nigerian can attest to the fact that the privatization has not worked well, in the sense of what we sought to achieve in terms of power efficiency,” said Ahmed.

Uganda, Tanzania Cooperate on Oil Exploration

The Governments of Tanzania and Uganda have agreed to coordinate their searches for oil in  the Eyasi Wembere Basin and Lake Tanganyika, and technicians from the Tanzania Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation and Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority have already began touring the area, according to The East African.

The agreement comes after Uganda and Tanzania signed a deal to coordinate on an oil export pipeline, with construction on the pipeline starting this year.

Nigeria’s Presidency Defends NNPC

Nigeria’s senior special assistant to the vice president on media and publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, defended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation against claims that $25 billion in oil contracts were awarded without due process, according to Leadership.

The claims were circulated by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, but Akande has said the deals in question were in fact Direct Sale, Direct Purchase agreements and Crude Term Contracts, which do not follow the same rules and procedures as procurement.

“Both transactions are simply a shortlisting process, in which prospective off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum are selected under agreed terms, and in accordance with due process,” he said.

Oranto Petroleum Signs PSAs with Uganda

Oranto Petroleum, a Nigeria-based independent that is rapidly expanding throughout Africa, has grown its portfolio by signing two Production Sharing Agreements in Uganda.

Oranto holds a 100 percent stake in both the Ngassa Shallow and Deepwater Plays of Lake Albert in Uganda, according to a company press release.

Tullow Signs PSCs in Ivory Coast

Tullow Oil, one of the largest independent operators in Africa, signed four production sharing contracts last week with the Ivory Coast, pledging an initial investment of $21 million in four onshore blocks, according to Reuters.

Tullow has a 90 percent stake in the blocks, and the national oil company, Petroci, will hold the remaining 10 percent shares. The area covers 5,035 square kilometers, primarily on the coast. Tullow Oil first entered the Ivory Coast in 1997.