The Buzz: This Week in Africa

On Friday, Brent Crude was trading at $82.73 per barrel, WTI at $73.26 and natural gas at $2.99 per million BTU (at 17:09, 28 September 2018, South Africa). Here are AOP’s top stories from the last seven days.

Eksom to upgrade and expand transmission facilities

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $217.9 million loan to state-owned Eskom towards the upgrade and expansion of its transmission facilities.

AfDB’s funding will support the Eskom Transmission Improvement Project, which will see the construction of 555km of 400kV transmission lines in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. The loan will also be used to upgrade substation equipment and improve substation earth mats in Mpumalanga.

Egypt: Noble Energy, Delek Drilling sign natural gas pipeline deal

Noble Energy signed agreements with Israeli company, Delek Drilling and the Egyptian gas transportation company, East Gas to acquire a 39 percent stake in Eastern Mediterranean Gas (EMG).

Making the announcement in a statement, Noble Energy said the agreements would allow it to support the delivery of natural gas from offshore Israel, into Egypt.

Oil prices hit a four year high

Oil prices hit a four year high on Tuesday at $82.55 a barrel amid U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC’s) reluctance to raise oil output to offset the potential hit to global supply.

Hitting its highest since November 2014, the uptick in oil prices was the market’s response to OPEC’s refusal to increase production levels.

Tanzania power project due for completion

The Kinyerezi II power project which will contribute an additional 240MW to Tanzania’s national power grid, is due for completion next month.

Once the project becomes fully operational, it will add 36 million standard cubic feet per day to the national gas demand and will save Tanzania up to $1 billion annually on oil imports for electricity generation.

DRC power distribution network gets a boost

BBOXX, a UK-based power utility company and U.S. multinational conglomerate General Electric (GE) have partnered to improve energy access for communities and small organizations in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

With power supply taking strain, a number of businesses and organizations in the DRC have been left without sufficient electricity. As a result, companies are paying excessive amounts for diesel to stay afloat.

Nigeria to add highest trunk pipeline length by 2022

A recent report by GlobalData, a data and analytics company, the Nigeria-based Trans Saharan Gas pipeline, which is the longest planned pipeline in Africa, is expected to start operations in 2021, with a planned length of 4,400 km.

This contribution will account for over 26 percent of the region’s planned and announced oil & gas pipeline length additions.

Namibia: Tullow Oil withdraws from exploration well

In statement released on Monday, Tullow Oil announced that it was withdrawing from the Cormorant-1 exploration well in the permissible exposure limit (PEL) 37 licence in offshore Namibia.

During its exploration activities, the company encountered non-commercial hydrocarbons and as a result, the well is being plugged and abandoned.

Ghana: AfDB approves $1.5 million grant for renewable energy

The grant, approved from the AfDB’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa initiative, will support government’s efforts to overcome technical, financial, regulatory and institutional barriers to scaling-up renewable energy investments in the West African country, the AfDB said in a statement released on Monday.

OPEC Maintains Production Cuts

The news came at the end of an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Ministerial Monitoring Committee in Algiers, Algeria on Sunday, which brought together both OPEC and non-OPEC members of the Declaration of Cooperation. The OPEC-led supply cuts, credited with saving the struggling oil industry, have been in place since January 2017. This month, Brent crude prices hit $80/barrel, a new record since the oil price crash began in 2014.