The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the close of this week Brent Crude is trading at $45.24 per barrel, WTI at $42.78 per barrel and natural gas at $2.91 per million BTU (beginning of day 23 June 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

Malaysia’s Bumi Shuts Off Erin Energy’s FPSO in Nigeria

Bumi Armada, the Kuala Lumpur-based offshore service provider, has suspended operations at a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel offshore Nigeria operating in Erin Energy’s Oyo Field over non-payment issues, according to Upstream Online. Bumi also suspended the operations and maintenance contract on the unit

“The suspension of operations is due to longstanding delays in the bareboat charter payments due to Bumi Armada, as well as irregular payments on the O&M contract,” Bumi said on Wednesday to Upstream, though the company also put forward a willingness to work with Houston-based Erin Energy on the payment issue.

Kenya: 69.4% of Population Has Access to Electricity

Kenya continues to awe in the power sector, adding 1.2 million households to the national grid so far this fiscal year, boosting the country’s electrification ratio to nearly 70 percent — far and above the regional electricity access rate of 23 percent for East Africa.

Kenya is on track to meet universal access by the end of 2020 through a multi-faceted approach of building new power generation capacity as well as investing heavily in the transmission and distribution network to get people plugged in. Currently, the government is subsidizing electricity access to ensure that people within 600 meters of a transformer are connected to the national network, according to ESI Africa.

Oil Project Delayed in Senegal Over Arbitration

Australia-based FAR Limited has requested arbitration over an ownership dispute between FAR and Australia-based Woodside Petroleum over the promising deepwater SNE project offshore Senegal, according to E&P Magazine.

ConocoPhillips sold a 35 percent stake in the oil project to Woodside last year, with Woodside to become the operator as part of the deal. However, FAR says it should have had pre-emptive rights over the stake. The SNE Deepwater Oil Field was expected to come online by 2021, but the project is now facing delay over the dispute.

Indonesian Firm Aims to Build Nigerian Refinery

PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of PT Intim Perkasa, revealed in a business meeting with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that the Indonesia firm wants to build a refinery in Akwa Ibom State, according to the Daily Trust.

Nigeria, which imports most of its refined petroleum products despite being the largest oil and gas producer in Africa, has been trying to attract new investors in the downstream refining sector. Nigeria has a refining capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, and is on track to produce 2 million barrels per day by August.

The refinery proposed by PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria would have a capacity of 10,000 barrels per day.

Congo-Brazzaville Plans Licensing Round

Congo-Brazzaville aims to launch another licensing round in October this year, according to Upstream Online, even before the country’s 2016 deep-water licensing round has concluded.

Seven companies are currently negotiating production sharing contracts after the 2016 licensing round, and sources say Hydrocarbons Minister Jean-Marc Thystere Tchicaya will announce yet another round before the end of the year.