The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the beginning of this week, Brent Crude is trading at $63.72 per barrel, WTI at $60.14, and natural gas at $2.57 per million BTU (at 11:31,12 February 2018 in South Africa). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

BP Begins Egyptian Atoll Project Early

Oil major BP has begun production at the Atoll project in Egypt seven months ahead of schedule.

Atoll Phase One, offshore Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, is producing 350 million cubic feet of gas per day and 10,000 barrels per day of condensate. Gas from the field is being directed into Egypt’s national grid.

Atoll is BP’s first project to come into production for 2018, and the early production scheme received nearly $1 billion in investment. The Atoll discovery was first announced in March 2015 and delivered first gas 33 months later.

BP has been in Egypt for over 55 years, with investments totaling approximately $30 billion.

Oil price Sees Worst Weekly Decline in Two Years

As a result of a major increase in U.S. drilling activity, West Texas Intermediate saw its worst weekly drop in two years after it fell below $59 a barrel for the first time this year.

Last week Friday, U.S. crude saw a seven-week low at $58.07 a barrel, Brent crude at $63.15, after a nine-week low at $61.77. For the week, WTI was down nearly 9.6 percent, while Brent had fallen to 8 percent.

Africa Oil Corp. Invests in Impact Oil and Gas

Africa Oil Corp. (AOC) announced that it has entered into agreements with Impact Oil and Gas Limited that will provide it with a 25.2 percent equity interest in Impact’s exploration assets in southern and west Africa.

AOC entered into a subscription agreement, a share purchase agreement and an investor’s agreement with Impact and its shareholders. The investments will act as a strong compliment to AOCs existing holdings in Africa Energy and ECO Atlantic and will allow AOC exposure to exploration plays in Africa while complimenting its development project in Kenya.

Power Africa to Boost Energy Access in Uganda

Power Africa, a US government-led initiative has announced the launch of the Power Africa Uganda Electricity Supply Accelerator, which will boost Uganda’s generation capacity by 1,000 megawatts.

In dealing with the power supply shortages, the country has turned to solar energy, however, it has continued to experience shortages, with a reported 70 percent of citizens having no access to electricity. To develop Uganda’s off-grid electrification, Power Africa will assist the country with establishing an expected 1 million connections by the year 2020, at the cost of $11 million.

Angola Natural Gas Legislation Nears Final Stages

Legislation on the rights of companies to explore and produce natural gas in Angola is in its final stages, said Angola’s Secretary of State Oil, Paulino Jeronimo, on Friday.

Despite being Africa’s second largest oil producer, Angola has no specific legislation in place for gas. The new legislation is expected to be submitted to the Angolan Executive Cabinet Council by the end of February. It will act as a safeguard for exploration companies, said Jeronimo.

Among major oil companies currently operating in Angola are Chevron, BP and Total.