The Buzz: This Week in Africa

Brent crude is trading at $67.55, WTI at $57.15 and natural gas at $3.97 per million BTU (at 14:48 in South Africa). Here are AOPs top news stories from the last seven days.

Angola

Angola joins GECF

Angola dominated Africa’s energy headlines this week and cemented itself as a key player in the sector by becoming the sixth African country to join the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

GECF has been at the forefront of promoting the use of natural gas as an affordable and sustainable fuel of choice for sustainable development.

Speaking on the announcement made at the 20th GECF Ministerial Meeting that took place in Trinidad and Tobago this week, Africa Oil & Power CEO, Guillaume Doane said: “The new administration in Angola has made it clear that natural gas is a top priority in its energy agenda with new investment legislation in the sector expected to spur international interest. Joining an increasingly influential forum like GECF will give the country access to a wealth of information on how to advance the sector.”

ENI continues to invest in Angola

Further propelling the Southern African nation’s oil and gas sector, Eni this week announced that it has recorded an increase in the production of 50,000 barrels of oil per day in Angola.

The increase in production is due to Eni’s investment in the 15/06 block of the Angolan offshore, which is estimated at $100 million.

Total launches Kaombo project

In production and exploration news, the Angolan State Ministry for Economic and Social Development, alongside Total and the country’s national oil company, on Monday announced that Sonangol launched the Kaombo Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) which came on steam earlier this year.

Located deep offshore on block 32, 260 kilometers off the coast of Luanda, the deep-sea oil field which began production in July this year is expected to boost the country’s oil production.

Angola, Zambia partner to develop oil and gas sectors

And in working towards strengthening African partnerships, Angola and Zambia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of a gas pipeline in Zambia. The proposed development of a new pipeline, in addition to facilitating the supply of petroleum products from the Lobito Refinery, will also strengthen partnership between Angola and Zambia, and pave the way for greater economic integration of the countries of the Southern African Development Community region.

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea: FDI in 2019 to Exceed $2.4 bn

The direct total foreign investment expected in Equatorial Guinea for 2019 is over USD $2.4 billion, with 11 new wells expected to be drilled during the year.

The ramp up in drilling activity in Equatorial Guinea comes after several years of a downturn following the crash of oil prices in 2014, and during the country’s Year of Energy. Th Year of Energy initiative is to position Equatorial Guinea as the energy capital of the African continent throughout 2019, in order to showcase the opportunities in Equatorial Guinea’s and the continent’s energy industry, and promote local companies and the achievements of Equatorial Guinea, and as well support the agenda of the rest of the oil and gas producing countries on the African continent.

South Sudan

Power sector ready for development

South Sudan is continuing to make strides in Africa’s oil and gas sector, with the Sahara Power Group and South Sudan’s Ministry of Energy and Dams signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of its power sector this week.

The development, which is part of the Sahara Power Group’s Light Up Africa initiative, will include generation, transmission and distribution spaces.

The MoU will facilitate the development the South Sudanese power sector infrastructure and see Sahara Power expand its East African operations.

South Sudan on the road to increase its oil production

Following the recently signed peace deal, South Sudan is in a position to increase its oil production for the first time since 2013.

As the country’s major source of export revenue, oil production previously fell from 350,000 barrels per day to between 120,000 and 150,00 barrels per day as a result of the war.

Senegal

Engie signs 25 year PPA for solar power projects

In a bid to increase electrification across Senegal through renewable energy, French utility company ENGIE, together with investment partners Meridiam consortium and Fonsis, signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Senegalese off-taker Senelec for two solar projects in Senegal.

The projects, which have a combined capacity of 60MW, will be developed by the Senegalese government and the International Finance Corporation.

They form part of Senegal’s Scaling Solar initiative, which aims to improve access to electricity.

South Africa

South Africa signs agreement to join IEA

South Africa has signed an agreement to become the eighth association country of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Signing the agreement with IEA director Fatih Biroll, South Africa’s Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said: “I believe this decision positions our country at the centre of the global energy forum and will yield positive economic benefits to our country as we learn from IEA member countries and other association members. This association initiative is based on a very inclusive approach, adapting and evolving in a non-binding manner, which will teach us the benefits and responsibilities of all parties.”

Uganda

Uganda to produce first oil in 2021

Uganda expects to start producing oil by 2021 according to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Muloni.

Uganda signed a deal with a consortium comprised of a subsidiary of General Electric to build and operate a 60,000 barrel per day refinery that will cost between $3 billion and $4 billion, and is expected to be operational by 2023.

Egypt

ENI sells 20 percent stake in Nour North Sinai Offshore concession

Eni on Monday announced that it has sold a 20 percent stake in the Nour North Sinai Offshore concession in Egypt to Mubadala Petroleum – a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company.

The concession is in participation with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, Eni holds an 85 percent stake through its subsidiary. Tharwa Petroleum Company holds the remaining 15 percent.

BP to boost presence in the Middle East

In a bid to boost its presence in the Middle East, oil major BP has said that it aims to spend $1.8 billion in Egypt next year and $1 billion annually in Abu Dhabi.

Motivated by new discoveries and licensing rounds, BPs Chief Executive, Bob Dudly told The National that the expansion of operations would play a key role in the company’s strategy.

BPs Khazzan gas field is expected to produce up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day by 2021.