All articles in the Refining Gap Section:


Aliko Dares The Nigerian Demon

Dangote casts net in oily waters

An abundance of scepticism surrounds Aliko Dangote’s plan to commission Africa’s largest crude oil refinery in three years’ time.

A month after the continent’s richest tycoon announced the scheme, promising to spend $8billion of his own money on the project and unveil it by 2016, “Dangote acknowledged that his plan might face stiff political opposition from interests benefiting from Nigerian products imports”, wrote Neil Fleming, an associate consultant with the London based CITAC, a global consulting firm whose activities include downstream oil and gas analysis.

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South Africa Not In A Hurry To Build Mthombo Refinery

By Sully Manope

PetroSA’s proposed 300,000 BOPD crude refinery could be developed in 2021/22, but an investment decision would have to be made in 2017, it is official.

Sizwe Mncwango, chief executive of the Central Energy Fund, the parent body of the state hydrocarbon company PetroSA, says that the project, considered a medium term priority, is “viable on a standalone basis” and that there were “a lot of suitors out there who would like to associate themselves with these kinds of programmes”. Project Mthombo is to be located in the Coega industrial development zone, in the country’s Eastern Cape.

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A Looming Downstream Boom, Not In Refining

The 1,000BOPD Ogbele Diesel Plant Is the only refinery completed in Nigeria in the last 15 years

Assembling the political will and investment resources to build a refinery in Africa is a daunting task
By Neil Fleming, courtesy of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

Led by booming economies like that of Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique and Ethio­pia, sub-Saharan Africa’s oil demand is set to jump by 50 percent in the next decade, outstripping growth in the rest of the world by a factor of around four to one.

That’s the forecast from downstream African consulting specialists CITAC, who predict African oil demand will hit 5.1 MMBOPD in 2023, up from 3.4MMBOPD in 2012. By 2020, demand is set to be some 4.5 MMBOPD, with West and Central African demand growing the fastest (44 percent), and North Africa likely to grow by 26 percent.

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An African Giant Pumps Up The American Economy

An African Giant Pumps Up The American Economy

As a rule, Foreign Direct Investments(FDIs),  flow from the rich west to the jungles of Africa. One case that proves the exception is Sasol’s proposed investment in America’s plastics and chemicals industry.

The South African born synfuels manufacturer and the world’s largest producer of motor fuel from coal, says it will profit from the investment in two new plants, based in Louisiana, the United States Of America. “The proposed investment is estimated to be between $16 and $21 billion, making it the largest foreign investment in the State of Louisiana’s history”, Sasol says in a statement.

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At last, Tullow Gets What It Wants

The recent agreement between the Ugandan Government and three International Oil Companies, calling for a 30,000Barrels Per Day refinery in Uganda, as well as export pipeline, is the deal that Tullow Oil has sought for the past five years. In the war of rhetoric with the Ugandan government, Tullow Oil had always insisted it could do a small scale refinery in Uganda but must build an export pipeline to export most of the crude.

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Egypt’s Fuel Subsidy To Scale $20Billion

Fuel subsidies will cost Egypt around $20.3Billion(140Billion Egyptian Pounds) if a reform does not kick in before the end of the fiscal (2012/2013) year, according to the country’s energy minister.

North Africa’s largest economy is under pressure to curb its soaring fuel subsidy bill, which accounts for a fifth of state spending, to secure a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

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Nigerian Minnow Plans A 5,000BOPD Refinery

Nigerian independent, Waltersmith Petroman, is evaluating the feasibility of installing a 5,000 BOPD refinery on its Ibigwe field in the eastern Niger Delta basin. The refinery, it hopes, “will provide an alternative income stream especially in the wake of very frequent disruption in export schedules caused by the vandalisation of pipelines in the Niger Delta”, the company said in a statement.

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Oilmoz Maintains Its Wish For Large Scale Refinery

Mozambican state oil company Oilmoz insists it had reached an agreement with an unnamed American “sovereign trust” to help finance a proposed $12-billion, 350, 000 barrel-per-day oil refinery.

Fausto Cruz, the company’s chief executive, was reported as saying that “we have finalised the funding agreement and we expect to begin construction in the middle of 2013,”, told from Reuters quoted him as saying that funding had been guaranteed for up to $17-billion.

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South Sudan Joins The League of Small Refineries

South Sudan has signed an agreement with an American engineering firm for the construction of 10,000BOPD mini-refinery. Ventech Engineers is expected to install the plant in the country’s Upper Nile State.

Stephen Dhieu Dau, the Petroleum Minister, says that South Sudan plans to expand the refinery to “20,000 barrels per day throughput capacity in a few years,” in a statement.

The refinery would be finished within 10 months, he says, meaning, around August 2013.


The Business Case For Large Scale Ugandan Refinery

To go by the stories in the international business press, the Ugandan government has stonewalled oilfield development in the country largely because it prefers the crude to be refined in the country, rather than exported.

Tullow Oil, the most visible operator in the country, cuts the image of a hapless IOC trying to help a cash strapped economy earn money by developing and exporting its crude, but running into opposition instead of fawning gratitude.
“You can have both(refinery and a pipeline)”, Tullow’s founder and CEO Aidan Heavy said in June 2012. “But you cannot have an oil industry without a (crude oil export) pipeline”, he told the Ugandan Chamber of Mining and Petroleum Journal.

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