Africa’s oil nations news roundup

July 9, 2012

Africa, Business, International

Angola and China’s Eximbank signed loan agreements valued at more than 500 million dollars


Angola and China’s Eximbank on Saturday signed 17 loan agreements valued at more than 500 million dollars to finance various post-war reconstruction projects, the finance minister said.

Angolan Minister of Finance, Carlos Alberto Lopes, told AFP the loan deal would be used for the construction of hospitals, energy, and drinking water treatment plants across eight of the country’s provinces.

“The signing of these agreements with the Angolan government, reflects China’s interest in supporting Angola in its reconstruction and economic development, thanks to the political and economic stability that Angola has enjoyed after the end of civil war,” Eximbank vice presidents Liu Chen, told AFP.

Angola has maintained close economic ties with China since peace returned to the country in April 2002. Africa’s second largest oil producer, it is the largest supplier of crude to China.

China has granted credit lines worth several billions of dollars to the administration of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos for the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed during the civil war.


Founded in 1994, the Export-Import Bank of China is a state bank solely owned by the Chinese government. Its international credit ratings are compatible to the national sovereign ratings. The Bank is headquartered in Beijing.

Angola is poised to throw open oil exploration rights in the offshore Kwanza Basin following a major strike by Houston-based Cobalt International Energy


LUANDA, Angola — Angola is poised to throw open oil exploration rights in the offshore Kwanza Basin following a major strike by Houston-based Cobalt International Energy.

That’s expected to give the Luanda government a big boost for its drive to double production in the West African state from the current 1.8 million barrels per day to 3.5 million bpd by 2020.

Much of that crude will go to the United States, already a major buyer of West African oil, and Angolan production will challenge Nigeria’s long-held supremacy in Africa. China imports 15 percent of its oil from Angola.



Cobalt is an independent, oil-focused exploration and production company with a world-class below salt prospect inventory in the deepwater of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and offshore Angola and Gabon in West Africa.

Luanda, Angola


Ghana has lifted 5.9 million barrels of crude oil

Source: GNA

Ghana has to date lifted about 5.9 million barrels of crude oil, representing a total revenue of 903 million United States dollars, Mr. Franklin Ashiadey, National Coordinator of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), said at the weekend.

He was speaking at a one-day sensitization workshop on GHEITI on Oil and Gas for assembly members from the Nzema East Municipal Assembly, Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Jomoro District Assembly, Shama District Assembly, Ellembele District Assembly and the Ahanta West District Assembly at Axim.

The GHEITI Secretariat at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning organized the workshop.

He said the success of Ghana’s oil will not be measured by the number of barrels of oil produced but by the amount of poverty managed to reduce with the revenues from the barrels of oil produced.

Mr. Ashiadey said the committee’s report urged the government to follow the letter of the law when forecasting revenues because the projections determine what the country should save as well as spend.

He said the committee is expected to ensure that the Ghanaian public has the opportunity to debate how government is managing petroleum revenues in the light of the country’s development priorities.


Niger signs MOU with Chad on oil pipeline in June 2012


NIAMEY- Niger has signed an agreement with neighboring Chad to construct a 600 km (373 miles) pipeline linking it to the Chad-Cameroon pipeline which will enable it to export its crude, Niger’s oil minister said.

Niger is expected to begin operating reserves on four fields at its Agadem bloc by early 2014, and increase its production to 80,000 barrels-per-day of which 60,000 will be exported through the pipeline.

“This is a first milestone towards the export of Niger’s crude,” Foumakoye Gado said after the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Chadian oil minister.

The two ministers gave no indication of when the construction of the pipeline will begin, nor its cost.

The minister said about 193 km (119 miles) of the pipeline will link the Agadem bloc to the Chad border.

“Then another 400 km (248 miles) of pipeline will be built in Chad to connect to the existing (Chad-Cameroon) pipeline which is already used to export Chadian crude to the port of Kribi in Cameroon,” the minister said.

Niger became one of Africa’s newest oil producers in November with the inauguration of its Soraz refinery, a $5 billion joint venture with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) near Zinder, around 900 km (559 miles) east of the capital Niamey.

The 20,000 barrel-per-day capacity refinery, 60 percent-owned by CNPC and 40 percent by Niger, is fed entirely by oil from the Agadem oilfield a further 700 km (434 miles) east.


Uganda is the cheapest place to find oil in the world

By Ibrahim Kasita
The New Vision

The cost of finding commercial oil reserves in Uganda is less than a dollar compared to the global trends justifying increased investors’ appetite for petroleum exploration licenses.

“On the global scale the finding cost range between $5 and $25 per barrel,” Ernest Rubondo, the commissioner in the petroleum and exploration department, disclosed.

“Uganda competes favorably with a finding cost of less than one dollar per barrel.” So far risk capital invested in seismic surveys, exploratory and appraisal drilling amounts to $1.4b.

And 20 oil/or gas discoveries have been so farm made with over 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil reserves in place. It is estimated that over billion barrels oil equivalent is recoverable. Interestingly less that 40% of the Lake Albert rift -with potential of oil and gas- has been exploited.

A total of 71 oil wells have been drilled and only three did not encounter hydrocarbon representing over 90% success discovery rate.

The discovered assets elevate Uganda in the league of oil producing countries like Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Dendmark, Italy and Romania in Latin America and Europe.

In Africa, Uganda joins Chad, Congo Brazavile and Tunisa. In Asia, Uganda falls in the group of Brunei and Thailand.

But still a long way from the tens of billion in Nigeria, Libya and the United States or the hundreds of billions of barrels in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Venezuela or Saudi Arabia.

Rubondo explained that the oil and gas industry is very capital intensive and high risk, adding that significant investments is expected in field development, production of the crude oil, processing and transportation facilities.

“Efforts are now being made to commercialize the discovered resources, initially though power generation and subsequently through refining the crude oil,” he said.

“A study to evaluate development of pipe lines and storage facilities for crude oil andgas in Uganda has been concluded.”

Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, the permanent secretary in the ministry of energy and mineral development, said over 80 international oil companies have applied for licenses.

He said government was opting for gradual and competitive licensing as a way of prolonging production and efficient resource management.

“The national oil and gas policy is the key policy document guiding the developments in the sector and it is crucial benchmark for governance of the oil and gas industry,” he said.

“Government is committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure effective and efficient development of the sector to benefit all Ugandans.”

Kabagambe-Kaliisa said that a communication strategy for the oil and gas sector was development and there has been increased engagement with civil society, parliament, local communities and their leaders and the media.

He revealed that government has received application for production licenses over Waraga, Kingfisher, Nzii and Mputa fields which are under review.

“Oil companies are being compelled to employ Ugandans and give business opportunities to Uganda companies,” he said.

“There has been increased training for Ugandans in oil and gas professions abroad from both public and private players.”


Canada’s Africa Oil says finds additional oil in Kenya well


NAIROBI- Canada’s Africa Oil said on Wednesday its estimate of the amount of potential oil in its Kenyan well has increased by a third since the east African country announced its first oil discovery in March.

The company said it has found an additional 43 metres of potential oil pay in its Ngamia-1 well in northern Kenya, which is operated by Africa Oil’s partner British exploration firm Tullow.

“The net oil pay logged in Ngamia-1 is more than double that of any of Tullow’s east African exploration wells drilled to date,” Tullow country manager Martin Mbogo said in a statement.

Kenya and its neighbours in east Africa, as well as the Horn of the continent, have become a hot spot for oil and gas exploration in recent years, spurred by new finds in countries including Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique.

The Ngamia-1 well in Kenya Block 10BB, was drilled to a depth of 2,340 metres and will now be suspended for future flow testing. The commercial viability of the find has yet to be ascertained.

In a statement, Tullow country manager Martin Mbogo said the volume of oil pay has “substantially exceeded expectations”.

The well has more oil-bearing sands than the company’s Ugandan wells, which it determined were commercially viable in 2006.

Tullow is moving the Ngamia-1 drilling rig 31 km west to spud its second Kenyan well this year, known as Twiga-1.

When that well is complete, it will return the rig to the Ngamia-1 site for work that will determine the commerciality of its first discovery.

Mwendia Nyaga, former CEO of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya, who works as an oil and gas consultant, said he expects it will be at least 12 months before Tullow will know whether the Ngamia-1 well can move to production.

“What we’ve seen is very promising, but there are no guarantees,” he told Reuters.

Uganda discovered commercial hydrocarbon deposits along its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006, and Tullow says reserves of 1.1 billion barrels are confirmed in place and believes there are a further 1.4 billion barrels left to find.


Somalia challenges Kenya over oil blocks
By Kelly Gilblom | Reuters
NAIROBI – Somalia’s government accused Kenya on Friday of awarding offshore oil and gas exploration blocks illegally to multinationals Total and Eni because the concessions lie in waters claimed by Somalia.
The spat between Kenya and its war-ruined neighbour could complicate the hunt for resources along a part of the East African coastline, rapidly emerging as one of the world’s hottest oil exploration prospects.
Somalia’s deputy energy minister, Abdullahi Dool, said contracts awarded for four blocks in deep waters were invalid and the government planned to complain to the United Nations, which oversees maritime border laws.
“We are concerned about the lease of blocks,” Dool told Reuters. “I am sure we will lodge complaints.”
The blocks are among seven awarded by Kenya last week, three of them to Italy’s Eni and one to France’s Total.
They lie in an area long contested by Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, and Somalia, wrecked by more than two decades of civil war, split between an interim government and Islamist rebels and serving as the main base for Indian Ocean pirates.
Kenya rejected the accusation that ownership of the blocks was contested and said there was no need to hold up exploration.
Kenya’s first major oil discovery in March has raised expectations of more to come.
“Saying these are not Kenyan blocks is like saying we don’t have a full-fledged government, like we are a banana republic,” petroleum commissioner Martin Heya said.
An Eni spokesman said the company would not comment on the challenge to its rights to blocks L21, L23 and L24. Total, awarded block 122, did not respond to requests for comment.
Kenya says the maritime boundary, over which there is no formal agreement, should run due east from the point at which the land border meets the coast, like the maritime boundaries of other countries along the coast.
Somalia says the boundary should extend perpendicular to the coastline, giving it a big chunk of the waters claimed by Kenya.
The dispute mirrors those in other parts of Africa where resources straddle boundaries that were first drawn only vaguely by colonial era map makers.
Kenya and Somalia signed a memorandum of understanding in 2009 that the border would run east along the line of latitude, but Somalia, which has lacked an effective central government since 1991, then rejected the agreement in parliament.
The quarrel over the oil blocks strains otherwise close ties between Kenya and the Somali government. In fact, Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year to hunt down the Islamist al Shabaab rebels who control swathes of the country.
Joshua Brien, a legal adviser with the Commonwealth Secretariat who is advising Kenya on the matter, said no legal boundary can be established until both governments sign a U.N.-approved agreement or move the issue to an international court.
“It’s not impossible they could come to a resolution, but the situation in Somalia is so uncertain,” Brien told Reuters by phone from London.
An added frustration for Kenya is that it cannot extend its claim to the continental shelf beyond its 200 nautical miles (370 km) of territorial waters until the border spat is resolved. That holds up the award of more exploration licenses.


Video: Africa’s crude oil industry


Video: Somalia – Oil found in Puntland province


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