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Eni announces new gas discovery in Egypt

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CAIRO – 14 March 2019: Italian Oil Company Eni announced Thursday a new gas discovery under evaluation in the Nour exploration prospect located in the Nour North Sinai Concession, in the Eastern Egyptian Mediterranean, about 50 km North of the Sinai peninsula.

Eni clarified in a press release that the Nour-1 New Field Wildcat (NFW), which has led to the discovery, was drilled by the Scarabeo-9 semi-sub in a water depth of 295 meters and reached a total depth of 5,914 meters.

According to the statement, Nour-1 well found 33 meters of gross sandstone pay with good petro physical properties and an estimated gas column of 90 meters in the Tineh formation of Oligocene age. The well has not been tested; however, an intense and accurate data acquisition has been carried out.

“In the concession, Eni is the operator with a 40 percent stake,in cooperation with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), BP holds a 25 percent stake, Mubadala Petroleum a 20 percent stake while Tharwa Petroleum Company a 15 percent stake of the contractor’s share,” the company noted.

It added that he JV Operator will start the feasibility studies to accelerate the exploitation of these new resources, leveraging the synergies with existing facilities and infrastructures, after finalizing the discovery evaluation.

Enihas operated in Egypt through its subsidiary Ieoc since 1954. The company is the country’s leading producer with equity above 340,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day that will further growin 2019 with the ramp up of the Zohr Project to production plateau.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said that Eni seeks to pump investments of $3 billion in Egypt during the upcoming period.

Descalzi added that the total investments pumped in Noras and Zohr fields so far have reached $8.4 billion, noting that 70 percent of the company’s investments exist in Egypt.

In 2015, Eni discovered Zohr gas field, the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean, with an estimated production of 30 trillion cubic feet.

On the other hand, Cavanna said in April that gas production from the Noras gas field increased to around 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/day).

Egypt recently signed several oil agreements for the exploration of oil and gas in several areas, including the Mediterranean, Western desert, Nile Delta and the Gulf of Suez.

The number of signed petroleum agreements since 2014 reached 88 and the authority is working on signing 13 new agreements.

In fiscal year 2018/2019, the targeted investments in petroleum sector are estimated at LE 145.6 billion ($8.12 billion), marking 15.5 percent of the year’s total investments.

Natural gas investments represent 91 percent of petroleum investments, which amounts to LE 132.8 billion.

– EGYPT TODAY

Oil and Gas

SPDC JV Infrastructure Spend In Rivers State Hits N17 BILLION

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The funding, since the GMoU concept took off in 2006, has enabled the 19 clusters in Rivers State to embark on projects covering health, education, water and power supply improvement, sanitation and infrastructure development. Under the terms of the GMoU, SPDC and its joint venture partners provide secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice, which are managed by Cluster Development Boards under the guidance of mentoring NGOs. Currently there are 39 active GMoU clusters in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Abia States and since inception in 2006 a total of $239 million (N44.36 billion) has been disbursed to these clusters to fund development projects.

“The success of the GMoU initiative has proved what could be achieved when government, international oil companies, communities and NGOs worked together for the common good.,” said SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli at a presentation of the 2019 edition of the Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes to journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes is an annual publication detailing the activities of the business interests of the global energy giant in Nigeria covering SPDC, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, and Shell Nigeria Gas.

On another level of social investment in Rivers State, Weli listed the Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS), which was established in 2010 in partnership with the Rivers State Government, as an SPDC JV flagship project that delivers affordable integrated health care to beneficiaries. Clients in the scheme pay N10,000 per annum which covers about 95% of the people’s primary and secondary health care needs including child birth, seizure disorders, diabetic and ophthalmic care at the Obio Cottage Hospital. “10 other hospitals in Rivers State also enjoyed ‘robust health intervention scheme by SPDC JV.”

In education, he cited the establishment of the first centre of excellence in Marine Engineering and Offshore Technology at Rivers State University in Port Harcourt established in 2017 which runs an 18-month Master’s and Diploma programmes in Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture as well as Offshore and Subsea Engineering. This, he said, was in addition to the many SPDC JV scholarship schemes which date back to the 1950s.

In enterprise development, SPDC JV has trained more than 460 young men and women from Rivers State under the Shell LiveWIRE programme between 2013 to 2018. The Shell LiveWIRE programme was introduced in 2003 to help young entrepreneurs to convert their bright ideas into sustainable businesses, creating wider employment and income opportunities for communities. LiveWIRE was extended to Ogoniland in 2014, with the objective of raising living standards and reducing crude oil theft through the promotion of sustainable alternative livelihoods.

Supporting Ogoni youths in sustainable alternative livelihoods is in line with one of the recommendations of the 2011 United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Report for the restoration of the Ogoni environment. In 2018, 100 Ogoni youths from communities near the Trans Nigeria Pipeline participated in training with 80 top performing trainees receiving business start-up funding totalling more than $90,000 (N27.27 million). To date, the LiveWIRE programme has trained 7,072 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and provided business start-up grants to 3,817.

To mark Nigeria’s centenary anniversary, SPDC and its JV parties donated a modern public library to the Port Harcourt Literary Society in November 2016. Equipped with books, internet access and reliable power supply, the library to which SPDC contributed around $5 million (N1.58 billion), has continued to deliver significant benefits to many residents of Port Harcourt.

On the general development of the Niger Delta, Weli noted that between inception of the Niger Delta Development Commission in 2002 and the end of 2018, Shell companies alone contributed N375.16 billion to the commission for the purpose of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region into an area that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful.

He said, “We’re proud of our extensive social investment footprints in Rivers State, which in some cases even stretch beyond the SPDC joint venture. He noted that the responsibility for the development of communities, societies or states resides primarily with government and community stakeholders themselves. “It stands to reason therefore that abdicating that responsibility for development to the private sector either fully or substantially is, in my assessment, one of the key issues militating against sustainable development not just of Rivers State but of the Niger Delta.”

SPDC

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Oil and Gas

Sahara Group Canvasses Intra-Africa Solution For Petroleum Sector Challenges

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Malabo, Equatorial Guinea: April 5, 2019 – Executive Director, Sahara Group, Wale Ajibade, has said collaboration between financial institutions, development agencies, trading companies, National Oil Companies and other stakeholders in Africa would enhance the contribution of intra-Africa led solutions to addressing the sector’s trade and project finance challenges on the continent.

This was Ajibade’s submission as he gave a key note address on Challenges of Financing and Investing in the African Oil Industry at the ongoing African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) CAPE VII Congress and Exhibition in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

“Our collective mandate and deliverable should be to prioritize African solutions for African challenges. Our businesses should be given viable incentives to enable them participate specifically in this industry; our Development and Commercial Banks should have a marked incentive, or lower funding rates, for African Companies participating in this space. We must place the utmost value on capacity building and skilled knowledge transfer and training,” he told delegates at the conference.

Oil ministers, top-level executives and the continent’s opinion leaders at the conference reinforced the importance of cooperation among African countries as the most sustainable avenue to achieve shared ‘Prosperity in the African Petroleum Industry’.

Pearl Uzokwe (third from right) photographed with delegates at APPO 2019
Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group (third from right) photographed with delegates at APPO 2019

“We need to see more collaboration between African Oil producers in the future as intra African trade can be as large as international trade. We must promote intra-regional trade and encourage government to government contracts underlined by the private sector. This is a cause Sahara Group is passionate about and we will continue to lead the narrative.”

Ajibade said the prospects for large-scale projects on the continent had set the tone for increased funding requirement, most of which would be in the area of trade and project financing. “Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) in Southern/ East Africa of approximately US$ billion 70-80 are expected over the next few years. Overall, key projects in Africa are expected to contribute a further 1.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and around 9.4 billion cubic feet per day to global production by 2025. Planned and on-going refinery developments in Uganda and Nigeria as well as terminal storage facilities and domestic gas infrastructure will create significant financing and investment requirements for the African oil and gas sector in the near term.”

He explained that challenges for trade and project finance transactions include government subsidies on oil products, significant currency fluctuations, limited local banking capacity, letters of indemnity (LOIs), banking compliance procedures, political influence, high lending cost and uncertain government regulation. “In recent years, a number of previously active European commercial banks have either reduced their investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, or have pulled out of the region altogether and at the same time; the participation of African commercial banks in trade finance has shown signs of decreasing. It is a sad reality that less than 10% of these products are financed using local financial institutions in the various African countries.”

Ajibade said the continent can address these challenges through government-government collaboration, ensuring steady regulatory policies, boosting local banking capacity and promoting stronger partnerships between development banks and the private sector.

“We need a collective and deliberate change in mentality that will drive government policies, Industrial and Development Banks policies, Commercial Banks initiatives and most importantly, the businesses and companies operating with the African Oil and Gas space. There should be deliberate policies by the government and the Central Banks to facilitate trading across Africa through hedging tools for foreign currency, lower cost of funds, and mechanisms to issue LOIs, among others,” he added.

– Sahara Group

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Oil and Gas

Sahara Group Advocates Adoption Of Uniform Petroleum Products Standards In Africa

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Cape Town, South Africa, March 27, 2019 – The adoption of unified standards across Africa will create a bigger and more effective regional market that will enhance the continent’s competitive positioning in global energy markets, Tope Shonubi, Executive Director, Sahara Group has told stakeholders at the African Refiners Association (ARA) meeting in Cape Town.

Shonubi said the existence of a fragmented petroleum products market with different product specifications, sulphur content and emission requirements remains a huge stumbling block to accessing the benefits that can accrue from intra-regional trade in the sector.

“Adoption of similar specifications and standards has been achieved across Europe and most of North America creating a single larger market for petroleum trade. While gas-oil specifications remain fragmented across Africa, jet fuel specifications are almost completely unified across the world. This similarity has improved the ease of trading jet fuel across borders, ensured access to a wider market and enhanced competitiveness in the aviation industry,” he said.

Tope Shonubi addressing delegates at ARA Week 2019
Tope Shonubi addressing delegates at ARA Week 2019

Shonubi urged all stakeholders to embrace the AFRI-4 standards which were the outcome of a partnership between ARA and the World Bank to promote the adoption of a single standard for cleaner fuels.

According to him, “the adoption of the Afri-4 Specifications will guarantee unified product standard across the region, ease of intra-regional petroleum product trade, reduction in bulk transportation costs and optimization of regional infrastructure. This will ultimately make Africa a more influential economic block”

He added that unified standards would de-fragment African markets resulting in favourable economies of scale in intra-regional trade, regional harmonization of taxes and excise duties, reduction in smuggling and adulteration of products,  improved local refining capacity, reduced landing costs of petroleum products, joint infrastructure projects as well as export diversification and access to a larger customer base.

Shonubi said Africa must accord the prospects of intra-regional trade the urgency it deserves to ensure accelerated economic development. “In line with the vision of a harmonized Africa, Sahara Group is building an integrated energy business across Middle Africa to harness the potential of intra-regional trade. We are delighted to be one of the first African companies to carry out full cycle crude and product trade transactions using only African resources within the continent. All transactions were carried out by Africans for Africans using African resources. The future of our business depends on how well we can work together across Africa.”

He concluded by urging ARA members and other stakeholders in Africa’s energy sector to work towards developing a competitive African Brand. “Africa countries cannot hope to shape globalization or even retain marginal relevance individually. It is only by working together that we have the weigh to influence the big picture.”

– Sahara Group

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