The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the beginning of this week Brent Crude is trading at $66.38 per barrel, WTI at $57.31 per barrel and natural gas at $2.75 per million BTU (beginning of day 18 December 2017). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

WoodMac Report: Upstream Companies to “thrive” in 2018

In Wood Mackenzie’s 2018 Upstream Outlook, released last week, the consulting firm said the focus for upstream companies will take a significant shift, from “survive” to “thrive.”

According to the report, the number of major project sanctions are expected to increase to 25 in 2018, compared to just over 20 in 2017.

“The downturn meant that close to US$1 trillion was taken out of company spending from 2015 to 2020. But we believe the big cuts are over. Wood Mackenzie expects global capital expenditure to grow slightly in 2018 to a total of US$400 billion,” said Angus Rodger, Upstream Research Director.

Ghana, Germany Sign Renewables Agreement

The governments of Ghana and Germany have signed a bilateral Investment and Reform Partnership agreement meant to boost private investment in renewables in Ghana, according to DW, with Germany agreeing to grant Ghana $118 million for the sector.

The deal is meant to promote job growth, stimulate trade and stem economic migration. The deal is part of Germany’s G-20 Compact with Africa for sustainable economic development.

Mozambique Energy Minister Sacked

Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi fired four ministers, including Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Leticia da Silva Klemens, according to Reuters. The president named Ernesto Max Elias Tonela to replace Klemens as the minister of energy. Previously, Tonela served as the commerce minister and is an economist by training.

Ivory Coast Power Plant to Increase Capacity

The government of Côte d’Ivoire and Azito Energie signed an agreement to install an additional 30MW of electricity capacity to the plant’s current 430MW, according to ESI Africa. The plant is already one of the largest geothermal plants in West Africa. The upgrade scheduled for 2018 and 2019. General Electric was selected to upgrade two gas turbines at the combined-combined cycle power plant.

Exxon Acquires Stake in Mozambique Area 4

ExxonMobil announced last week that it had completed the acquisition of a 25 percent indirect interest in the offshore Area 4 block from Eni in Mozambique. Commercialization of the block, which is rich in gas, will include the Coral floating LNG project, which reached FID this year and is moving ahead to development.

The acquisition means Exxon owns a 35.7 percent stake in Eni East Africa S.p.A. Eni East Africa has a 70 percent interest in Area 4, with additional partners Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (10%), Kogas (10%) and Galp Energia (10%).