The Buzz: This Week in Africa
At the beginning of this week, Brent Crude is trading at $65.12 per barrel, WTI at $62.11 and natural gas at $2.61 per million BTU (at 12:15, 19 February 2018, South Africa). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.
NNPC to Import 100 Million Liters of Gasoline Daily
Following Nigeria’s two-month fuel shortage, the national oil company has committed to purchase100 million liters of gasoline per day to meet ongoing demands. The 100 million liters purchased by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) daily from the spot market is said to be sufficient to end the dire fuel shortage. As the country’s only gasoline importer, the NNPC had failed to provide adequate supply, resulting in queues at fuel pumps.
Oil Prices Increase For First Time Since January
Last week Friday, the oil price saw its first increase since last month. At the beginning of last week, the oil price had seen its worst weekly decline in two years after it fell to $59 per barrel. On Friday, the price of WTI rose to $61.64 from $60.14 (at 11:31, 12 February 2018 in South Africa) and Brent Crude to $65.06 from $63.72 (at 11:31, 12 February 2018 in South Africa) after the stock market stabilized.
Although the increase was not enough to compensate the losses from the previous four days, a more stable stock market is likely to positively affect oil prices.
Egypt Signs Deals to Promote Investment, Exploration
During the annual Egypt Petroleum Show, EGYPS 2018, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum signed a cooperation agreement to launch operations of the Egypt Gate project. Egypt Gate will be built by Baker Hughes, and is an online portal system for marketing petroleum areas and oil exploration activities to foreign partners.
Egypt also signed a seismic survey deal last week. The deal, signed with Schlumberger, will provide new seismic data for the offshore Gulf of Suez area.
Congo Intent on Exploration in National Parks
Aimé Ngoy Mukena, Minister of Petroleum and Gas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has defended the country’s right to conduct oil exploration anywhere in the nation’s territory, after the media had reported that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve. Although the minister declined to comment on the reports, he told Reuters that he believed no land should be off-limits and that the government was mindful of environmental considerations but was intent on developing its hydrocarbons sector.
Mauritius and Italy Sign MoU on Renewable Energy
The Mauritius Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
The MoU aims to help the countries improve scientific research on energy technologies. Under the agreement, the countries will create a platform where energy stakeholders can access training in energy efficiency projects and technologies. Their first project will be the conversion of electrical irrigation pumps into solar pumps.