The Buzz: This Week in Africa

Brent Crude is trading at $69.82, WTI at $59.85 and natural gas at $3.58 per million BTU (15:03, 9 November 2018, South Africa). Here are AOPs top news stories from the last seven days.

South Africa

Solar storage capacity to increase

With renewable energy a key player in South Africa’s energy mix, state-owned utility company, Eskom last week launched its pilot solar-powered microgrid in the Free State province.

Located in the Wilhelmina Farm in Ficksburg, the microgrid plant provides electricity to 14 households with 81 family members that make up the Wilhelmina community.

Kenya

Moi International airport to be solar powered

Further addressing energy concerns on the African continent through renewables, UK-based solar company, Solarcentury signed a contract with the International Civil Aviation Organization to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya.

The company reported that the 500kW solar PV system will generate 820,000 kWh per year and offset 1,300 tons of CO₂ annually.

Namibia

SACREE to lead SADC renewable energy development

Keeping with the renewable energy trend on the continent this week, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), which was recently launched in Windhoek, Namibia, reported that it aims to spearhead the promotion of renewable energy development in the region.

It expects to contribute substantially to the development of thriving regional renewable energy and energy efficiency markets, through knowledge sharing and technical advice in the areas of policy and regulation, technology cooperation, capacity development, as well as investment promotion.

Nigeria

NNPC to endorse further fuel swaps with Shell, ExxonMobil

Nigeria dominated oil and gas headlines this week, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) piquing the sector’s interest with speculation that it would likely sign further crude-for-product deals with Shell and ExxonMobil, according to NNPC’s chief operating officer for upstream, Bello Rabiu.

Raibu told Reuters on Monday that Shell and ExxonMobil exited the downstream sector in Nigeria a couple of years ago “… but they are coming back for this particular arrangement, because it is an opportunity for them to get crude and sell their products to the refineries.”

GE to power Nigeria’s largest oil refinery

GE Power Services announced that it had signed a multiyear service agreement to strengthen power supply to the Port Harcourt Refining Company – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The 12-year agreement was signed with GEL Utility (GELUL), a joint subsidiary of Engro Corporation of Pakistan and Genesis Power & Energy Solutions.

Egina FPSO to begin production at the end of the year

In production and exploration news, French oil super major, Total, noted that it was set to start production on the Egina floating production and offloading (FPSO) unit in Nigeria at the end of this year.

Making the announcement, Deputy Managing Director of Total Ahmadu Kida Musa said: “I am happy to announce that first oil will be at the very tail end of the year.”

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Muzarabani oil project potential to power country for decades

Amidst contradictions regarding a potential oil discovery in Zimbabwe over the past few weeks, ASX-listed Invictus Energy confirmed in a statement on Monday that the Zimbabwe-based Muzarabani oil project has the potential to produce 3,9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas and 181 million barrels of conventional gas.

If successful, the project’s 3,9 tcf of natural gas will supply Zimbabwe with 500MW of power for 40 years, while 181 million barrels of conventional gas can give the country enough fuel for the next 20 years at current consumption levels of 25 000 barrels per day.

Mozambique

Ncondezi Energy’s power development project gaining traction

Power development company Ncondezi Energy (Ncondezi) on Monday announced that it had received a Letter of Support (LoS) from the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy regarding its integrated 300MW power and coal development projects in the East African country.

Further, Ncondezi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mozambican state power utility company, Electricity de Mozambique (EDM).

Gabon

Gabon reveals licensing round details

Gabon has revealed details of its upcoming 12th shallow and deep water licensing round, which was reported by Africa Oil & Power last week.

In putting 12 shallow-water blocks and 23 deep-water blocks up for bidding, Gabon is also preparing its new hydrocarbons code that will see the elimination of the 35 percent corporate income tax.

Rwanda

Biomass energy dependence still a concern for Rwanda.

The Rwandan government this week reported that it has pledged to cut biomass energy use by half by 2024 and, adopt the use of cleaner cooking energy.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Claver Gatete said Rwanda’s dependency on biomass energy currently stands at 83 percent and that this number needs to be drastically reduced and fast.

TUNISIA

Panoro Energy acquires OMV Tunisia Upstream GmbH

Panoro Energy’s Norwegian subsidiary Panoro Tunisia Production reached an agreement with OMV Exploration and Production GmbH to acquire 100 percent of the shares of OMV Tunisia Upstream GmbH for a cash consideration of $65 million.

The target holds a 49 percent interest in five oil producing concessions in Tunisia with net 2P reserves of 8.1 million barrels, and net production of approximately 2,000 barrels per day from 14 wells.