The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the beginning of this week Brent Crude is trading at $62.36 per barrel, WTI at $56.45 per barrel and natural gas at $3.05 per million BTU (beginning of day 20 November 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

Isabel dos Santos Fired as Sonangol’s CEO

The newly-elected President of Angola, João Lourenço, is wasting no time implementing his own vision for the country’s oil and gas sector, firing Isabel dos Santos, the Chief Executive Officer of the state-owned oil company, according to Angola Press. Isabel dos Santos is the daughter of former president José Eduardo dos Santos, who voluntarily stepped down this year after decades of ruling the oil-rich country.

Lourenço appointed Carlos Saturnino the Sonangol’s new CEO. Saturnino, the former Secretary of State for Oil, has already launched short and medium-term programs to improve the oil and gas sector in the country.

Djibouti Snags $4bn Gas Project

Djibouti has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s POLY-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings Ltd for the development of a natural gas pipeline, a liquefaction plant and export terminal in a $4 billion deal, according to Reuters.

The export terminal is to be located in Damerjog; the pipeline is expected to move 12 billion cubic meters of gas from Ethiopia to Djibouti; and the LNG plant has an expected capacity of 10 million tonnes per year of LNG. Production for the plant is targeted for 2020 at 3 million tonnes per year.

ExxonMobil Exits Liberia

After announcing a failed exploration result at the Mesurado-1 exploration well in January of this year, ExxonMobil and its partner in Liberia, Canadian Overseas Petroleum, announced last week they are relinquishing their block in Liberia.

The companies are opting out of a third exploration program, and surrendering their rights to LB-13, according to Offshore Engineer.

Sudan Talks to Foreign Oil Firms

The lifting of decades-long U.S. sanctions gainst Sudan announced earlier this year has the country’s Minister of Oil Abdul Rahman Osman talking to foreign oil companies in an effort to attract international investment to the country.

Sudan has held talks with Russia-based Lukoil and companies from the United States, Europe and Canada. The Mubadala Company, based in the United Arab Emirates, has also expressed interest in investing in the country’s oil and gas sector, according to the Sudan News Agency. Sudan currently produces 88,000 barrels per day, but experts believe it has oil and natural gas potential offshore and onshore.

NNPC, Chevron Sign $1.7bn Deal

Nigeria’s state oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation signed a $1.7 billion Alternative Financing Agreement with Chevron over the weekend on a project to increase oil production by 39,000 barrels per day and gas production by 283 million standard cubic feet per day, according to The Nation.

The finance agreement will fund a project to increase production from the Sonam and Okan fields in the Niger Delta region, including drilling seven wells in the Sonam field and the completion of a pipeline, among other improvements.