The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the beginning of this week Brent Crude is trading at $52.25 per barrel, WTI at $48.25 per barrel and natural gas at $2.88 per million BTU (beginning of day 21 August 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

Nigeria to Rehab Transmission Network

The Transmission Company of Nigeria will use $2 billion in funds, primarily from development banks, to rehabilitate and expand the country’s aging national grid infrastructure, according to ESI Africa.

The funds were raised by several sources, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, the Japanese Agency for International Cooperation and the European Union. The expansion and rehabilitation of the network should increase transmission capacities up to 20,000MW in the next three years.

The Gambia Offers Blocks for Open Licensing

The Gambia has offered offshore blocks A1, A3, A4 and A6 for open licensing, according to The Point.

Blocks A1 and A4, however, are still under dispute by African Petroleum Corporation, which the company claims it still holds the exploration rights for. The Government of The Gambia, however, maintains that due to failure to comply commitments, the only companies with existing licenses are FAR and Erin Energy, for Blocks A2 and A5, respectively.

Standard Bank to raise $3 billion for Uganda Pipeline

Standard Bank Group expects to raise $3 billion in additional capital needed for Uganda’s crude pipeline to Tanzania’s Tanga port by mid-2018, according to a report by Bloomberg. Stanbic Bank Uganda and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp are joint financial advisers for the project, which is being developed to monetize vast oil resources in Uganda’s Lake Albert region.

Construction on the $3.5 billion pipeline was commissioned this year by the presidents of Uganda and Tanzania. A final investment decision is expected in the first quarter of 2018.

Erin Energy Spuds Well Offshore Nigeria

Houston-based Erin Energy began drilling an additional well — the Oyo-9 well — in the Oyo field offshore Nigeria last week. The Pacific Bora rig is drilling the well, which is expected to take 62 days to complete; and the tie-in of the well to the FPSO expected to take place at the end of 2017, according to a company press release.

Once complete, the Oyo-9 should add about 6,000 to 7,000 barrels of oil per day to the field’s production.

Togo’s Off-grid Energy Project Lands Funding

Togo’s rural, off-grid power generation plan, CIZO, got a financial boost last week after the African Sustainable Energy Fund, a multi-donor trust fund administered by the African Development Bank, approved a $975,000 grant to kick start the project, according to ESI Africa.

CIZO will use about 3000,000 solar units using mobile payment technology over a five-year period to advance electricity access in rural areas.