The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the beginning of this week Brent Crude is trading at $60.51 per barrel, WTI at $53.88 per barrel and natural gas at $2.96 per million BTU (beginning of day 30 October 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

Kenya, Tullow Oil Ink Deal to Progress with Pipeline

The Government of Kenya and Tullow Oil signed a joint development study agreement last week that will push work on the country’s first oil export pipeline forward. The agreement, which also includes Africa Oil and AP Moller-Maersk, allows the initial work, like mapping the path for the pipeline and completing an environmental assessment, to move forward, according to the East African.

The 865-kilometer pipeline is expected to connect Lokichar with Port Lamu. With the development agreement in place, the Ministry can request bids for FEED.

Tullow Oil, which is eager to monetize its oil discoveries at Lake Turkana, has been preparing to export 2,000 barrels per day in a small-scale export plan. The plan, trucking crude oil by road, was initially shelved by the government before the Aug. 8 general election. However, after elections were held again this month, the Energy Ministry has called for the small-scale exports to resume.

Dangote Refinery to be Operational in 2019

Dangote’s 650,000-barrel-per-day-capacity refinery being built in Nigeria is expected to come onstream by the end of 2019, according to The Cable. The refinery is expected to be enough to meet local needs, according to Minister of State for Petroleum Ibe Kachikwu, and will reduce reliance on imports of refined petroleum products.

Ivory Coast Launches Exploration Bidding Round

The government of Ivory Coast announced last week that 22 new blocks, primarily located offshore, will be available in a bidding round that includes the possibility of direct-negotiation and a bidding process, according to Reuters.

The round has no time limit. Only one of the oil and gas exploration blocks up for bid is located onshore.

Zimbabwe’s Power Projects Face Funding Gap

Though Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce 1,600MW of renewable energy by 2030, the country is facing funding gaps on planned projects that could jeopardize the country’s electricity ambitions, according to ESI Africa.

Three planned solar plants still lack a combined $202 million in order to move forward. Additionally, the country’s Marondera solar project, headed by Green Rhino Energy, is also facing funding issues.

26 Firms Bid on Rehabing Nigeria’s Refineries

In a continued effort to boost its refining capacity and address its long-neglected refineries, the Nigerian government has accepted bids from 26 firms interested in overhauling the country’s aging downstream infrastructure, according to the Premium Times.

The overhaul is expected to require $2 billion in investment. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, expects to make an announcement by January or February 2018 on the winning companies.