The Buzz: This Week In Africa

At the beginning of the week, Brent Crude is trading at $73.76 per barrel, WTI at $67.99 and natural gas at $2.74 per million BTU (at 12:19, 23 April 2018, South Africa). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

Interpose Holdings acquires stake in Cabora Bassa basin project

Australia-based company Interpose Holdings has acquired an 80 percent operating stake in Zimbabwe’s onshore Caborra Bassa basin project through its acquisition of Invictus Energy Resources Pty.Ltd.

The Caborra Bassa Basin project, otherwise known as Special Grant 4571, consists of 250,00 acres of the Caborra Bassa basin which contains the gas-condensate prospect Mzarabani that was first identified by Mobil Oil in the 1990s.

Interpose will reprocess data acquired by Mobil Oil before conducting its own studies to mature the Mzarabani prospect.

SDX Energy makes gas discovery in Morocco

North Africa focused SDX Energy has announced a new gas discovery in its LNB-1 well on the Lalla Mimouna permit in northern Morroco.

“We are very excited about the results of this exploration well. It was a higher risk exploration prospect than previous drilling in Sebou, as it was a sequence that had not been previously penetrated in a similar structural location. We had anticipated a higher-pressure section, based upon offset drilling in the area, but the actual pressures encountered, the thickness of the section, and the type and amount of shows significantly exceeded our expectations,” SDX Energy CEO, Paul Welch said in a statement.

This discovery comes just two weeks after SDX Energy announced a gas discovery in its Ibn Yunus-1X exploration well.

Eni and Sonatrach to improve production in Algeria

Eni and Algerian state-owned company Sonatrach have signed agreements to collaborate on a number of oilfield projects to improve Algeria’s oil and gas production.

Under the agreements the companies will launch an exploration and development programme in the Berkine basin, and work on the construction of a renewable energy laboratory and photovoltaic plant at the Bir Rebaa North oilfield.

Eni has had a presence in Algeria since the 1950s and signed its first agreement with Sonatrach in 1977.

Libyan oil pipeline to be repaired

After the crude pipeline owned by Libya’s Waha Oil Co. was set on fire on 21 April 2018, the National Oil Corporation has said the repairs would take a few days.

In a statement obtained by Reuters, the NOC said, “Early investigations indicate that the fire was started as a result of sabotage, Waha Oil Co. maintenance teams have started on the pipeline, with repair work estimated to complete within a few days.”

During the fire, the pipeline reportedly lost between 70,000 and 100,000 barrels per day, which is the same amount lost in a December attack, when the pipeline was also repaired in days.

Libya looks at Total-Marathon Oil deal

Libya’s NOC is considering intervening in a $450 million deal in which Total announced its purchase of Marathon Oil’s stake in the Waha concession.

Despite the CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanné, saying that the deal is closed, Reuters reported that officials are considering various options including pushing for better terms after oil industry players and media said the price was too low.

The NOC holds a 59.18 percent stake in Waha Oil Co. while stakeholders ConocoPhillips and Hess hold 16.33 percent and 8.16 percent, respectively.