The Buzz: This Week in Africa
At the beginning of this week Brent Crude is trading at $66.87 per barrel, WTI at $60.42 per barrel and natural gas at $2.95 per million BTU (beginning of day 01 January 2018). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.
Nigerian Militants Demand $1 Billion
Militants in the Niger Delta region, which wreaked havoc on the oil industry in 2016 by attacking pipelines and other oil facilities, has demanded the government release $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account so that the Niger Delta can launch development projects, according to Vangaurd. Without the money, the group plans to launch new attacks on oil pipelines and other facilities.
The rebel group also advised foreign nationals leave the region ahead of any violence, saying: “We will ensure that anything that stands on our way will be crushed without mercy. All foreign nationals are hereby advised to leave the region as all our unit commanders have put on red alert to resume operation zero oil production on the expiration of the four weeks ultimatum.”
A resumption of attacks could negatively impact Nigeria’s oil production and the country’s 2018 budget.
Cameroon Boasts ‘Encouraging’ Well Flow Test
Cameroon-focused Victoria Oil & Gas announced the onshore La-108 well showed ‘very encouraging’ well flow results, according to a company press release.
The well was drilled to 2,865 meters in November on the Upper Logbaba sands, with flowrates of 15 million cubic feet of gas per day. The results were “ahead of expectations and substantially better” than results from the Lower Logbada sands at well La-107, which showed 4mmscf/d.
“This milestone marks the end of the major capital spend on these wells as we move into the production phase,” said CEO Ahmet Dik.
Libya to Repair Blown-Up Oil Pipeline
A key pipeline in Libya that was blown-up in a terrorist attack, shutting off between 70,000-100,000 barrels of oil per day crude production output, is to be repaired over the next few days, according to Reuters. The country’s Waha Oil company, a subsidiary of the National Oil Company and owner and operator of the pipeline, said the explosion took place 130 kilometers from the Es Sider terminal, though few other details were provided.
Fighting Breaks Out in South Sudan’s Oil Region
Rebel fighters and South Sudan government forces clashed in the country’s oil-rich region of Unity State, just hours after a ceasefire agreement was signed to end the fighting beginning midnight Dec. 24. Both sides blamed the other in the fighting, according to Bloomberg.
Continued fighting in the region could spell further instability for the country’s oil and gas industry, which has seen oil production fall by about half since the outbreak of civil war in 2013, with little new exploration work taking place.
Liberia Commissions New Fuel Unloading Facility
A World Bank-backed fuel unloading project was commissioned last week in Liberia, with the facility expected to boost economic growth and development and provide more stability to the country’s fuel import capacity, according to the Daily Observer.
World Bank International Development provided a grant for the $15.3 million fuel unloading facility. “Now that construction of the Fuel Unloading Facility is complete, Liberia has nearly reconstructed all major infrastructure required to sustain a robust sea trade connection through the Freeport of Monrovia for the benefit of all Liberians,” said Larisa Leshchenko, the World Bank Country Manager.