The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the beginning of this week Brent Crude is trading at $53.62 per barrel, WTI at $47.80 per barrel and natural gas at $2.91 per million BTU (beginning of day 11 September 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

Shell Signs $300 million Gas Deal in Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell signed a $300 million agreement with Shoreline Energy, a Nigerian power company, to develop and market gas in Nigeria, according to the Financial Times. The deal includes Shell’s financial backing and development of pipeline network around Lagos, and follows an announcement made by Shell in June, in which the company stated its intentions to focus more on gas than oil in Nigeria.

Though Nigeria contains proven gas reserves at 187 trillion cubic feet — the ninth-largest in the world — the country is also one world’s worst offenders for gas flaring.

Angola LNG, Vitol Sign Agreement

Angola LNG, the country’s only LNG export facility, signed an agreement with Vitol, the world’s largest independent trader, to deliver LNG shipments this year. The terms of the agreement are to remain confidential, according to Reuters.

Angola had initially planned to export LNG to the United states, but the rapidly expanding shale gas industry there derailed those plans. Output at the plant is expected to hit 3.5 million tonnes in 2017.

Zimbabwe Power Capacity Gets a 300 MW Boost

An expansion of the Kariba hydro plant in Zimbabwe is 92 percent complete and is on track to be complete by the end of the year, adding 300MW to the country’s power capacity, according to ESI Africa.

The Kariba South Extension Project will increase the plant’s total capacity to 750MW. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was recruited to help the project, after a lack of foreign currency to pay suppliers presented challenges to completing the expansion.

Statoil Adds to South Africa Acreage

Statoil took advantage of an ExxonMobil farm-down to increase its standing in South Africa, acquiring a 35 percent stake in Exploration Right 12/3/252, according to E&P Magazine. ExxonMobil Exploration and Production South Africa Ltd. will retain a 40 percent stake in the block, which is offshore South Africa in depths of 3,000 meters.

The Norwegian-based independent also acquired a 90 percent interest and operatorship of the Exploration Right 12/3/257 East Algoa from OK Energy Ltd.

Nigeria Launches Program to End Gas Flaring

The Nigerian government is launching the National Gas Flaring Commercialisation Programme, an initiative expected to generate 36,000 jobs, in a concerted effort to end gas flaring in the Niger Delta region.

The program, announced by Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta, will utilize already-produced gas for electricity, cooking and industrial uses, according to The Guardian. Within the Niger Delta, 48 sites have already been identified for the program.