The Buzz – This week in Africa

Brent Crude is trading at $64,31, WTI at $54,92 and natural gas at $2.87 per million BTU (at 16:56 in South Africa). Here are AOPs top news stories from the last seven days.

NIGERIA

Significant growth in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector leads the week’s news with the country pledging to attract billions of dollars in oil and gas investments over the next seven years.

Nigeria to attract oil and gas investment

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has announced its plans to attract $48.04 billion in oil and gas investments over the next seven years. The country will account for 24.8 percent of investments into the continent and will be responsible for 20 out of 93 projects to be funded across the continent.

According to group MD, Dr. Maikanti Baru, over 41 billion barrels of oil (bbl) and 319 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas are yet to be discovered in sub-Saharan Africa alone, with Africa currently accounting for 126.5 bbl of crude oil and 488 tcf of gas out of global proven oil and gas reserves.

SENEGAL

BP awards FPSO contract for GTA project

Global oil and gas services company TechnipFMC will take on the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning of the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit for the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) project, located on the border between Mauritania and Senegal.

The contract, valued between $500 million and $1 billion according to TechnipFMC, was awarded by project operator BP following a successful front end engineering design contract in April last year. The GTA is the first major liquefied natural gas project to reach final investment decision in the basin, with first gas expected in 2022.

GHANA

Aker Energy encounters oil in Ghana

Oslo-based exploration firm Aker Energy announced successful results after a drilling campaign in the Pecan South-1A well, part of the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) Block, offshore Ghana. The well, located south of the main Pecan field in the DWT/CTP block, is estimated to produce 450 to 550 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) and will be added to the gross contingent resources from existing discoveries in the same area.

Aker Energy is the operator of the DWT/CTP block with a 50% participating interest. Aker Energy’s partners are LUKOIL (38%), the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (10%) and Fueltrade (2%). The findings strengthen the company’s development plan for the area, in which it estimates the potential of recoverable resources could reach between 600 and 1,000 mmboe in total.

Meralco takes over power distribution in Ghana

Operations and management of the state-owned Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has officially been assumed by Power Distribution Services (PDS), a consortium led by Philippines-based electricity company, Meralco. PDS is expected to invest approximately $580 million into ECG during the first five years of its twenty year contractual agreement to run the country’s power distribution services.

Vice President of Meralco, Ireneo B. Acuna, said that the consortium offers proven expertise, with 115 years of experience serving 6.5 million customers in the Philippines, as well as a myriad of reliable partners to remedy Ghana’s power crisis and make electricity more accessible for its citizens.

SOUTH SUDAN

South Sudan in China: Production and the environment top agenda

In meetings this week between the Minister of Petroleum of South Sudan and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Hon. Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and the leadership of CNPC emphasized their commitment to resuming and increasing production at South Sudanese oilfields and protecting the environment.

The Minister and CNPC’s leadership discussed issues ranging from the resumption of oil production at block 1/2/4, increase of oil production at block 3/7, management of produced water to protect the environment, exploration of new blocks, community developmental projects, scholarships and a capacity building program to develop the staff of the Ministry of Petroleum and national oil company Nilepet. The Minister emphasized at the meetings with CNPC, CPTDC and CNODC that management of produced water to protect the environment is top priority for the Ministry of Petroleum.

UGANDA

Uganda joins Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

In efforts to showcase the country’s commitment to accountability and transparency in the oil and gas sector, Uganda has joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). A lack of transparency in oil and gas contracts has caused public suspicion and the country has, for several years, been urged by a number of stakeholders to join the initiative.

Joining EITI means the country is required to make all contracts related to its oil and gas sector public, including the allocation and ownership of licenses; the contractual, legal and fiscal terms of those contracts; production and export numbers and revenue; revenue collection and social and economic spending. Uganda joins Tanzania in the pool of East African countries who are EITI members. Globally, EITI has 51 member countries.

THE GAMBIA

The Gambia launches renewable energy program

The European Union (EU), World Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) have agreed to fund a renewable energy program in The Gambia, West Africa. The project funding exemplifies international cooperation between key development agencies, with the EU set to provide $119 million, of which $73 million will be a concessional loan from EIB. The World Bank will further support the project by adding $42 million.

The program aims to provide 1,100 rural schools and health centers with electricity via mini solar kits and batteries, with the goal of increasing energy supply in the country by one fifth. According to EIB’s VP for Energy, Andrew McDowell, the bank is committed to addressing climate change around the world and is pleased to support its first project in The Gambia since 1991.