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South Africa’s Transnet Keeps Pipeline Theft Down, Raises Profits

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

Transnet, the South African state-owned logistics company says the annual revenue of its Pipelines unit was 7% above budget and operating expenditure was maintained well below the budget, resulting in EBITDA being 27% above budget in the 2023 financial year.

Transnet’s Pipeline Unit, simply called ‘Pipelines’, operates and maintains a 3,114 kilometre high-pressure petroleum and gas pipeline network in South Africa. The flagship infrastructure of that network includes the 715 kilometre long, multiproduct pipeline (MPP) to transport petrol, diesel and jet fuel from Durban to Gauteng as well as the 600 kilometre, 16-inch Secunda–Durban natural gas pipeline.

“Pipelines made significant progress in reducing fuel theft incidents in 2023. Pipelines achieved an 8.6% reduction in product loss due to theft incidents in 2023, when compared to the prior year, despite the number of fuel theft incidents increasing in 2023”, the company explains.

Transnet then claims that “the implementation of long-term holistic, sustainable solutions as well as ongoing engagements with all stakeholders to curb the number of incidents yielded positive results as fuel theft incidents reduced by 63% in the second half of the year when compared to the first six months”.

The targeted volume and actual deliveries for the 2023 financial year include:

–Targeted Total Petroleum volume: 15 432Million litres; Achieved volume:  15,500Million litres.

– Targeted Natural gas volume: 533Million cubic metres (or ~18.8Billion cubic feet) ; Achieved volume:  516Million cubic metres (or ~18.2Billion cubic feet).

Transnet Pipelines considers product theft along its pipelines as one of the company’s top risks, as, the company says:

  • It has adverse impact on Pipelines’ reputation and brand due to negative media coverage associated with the theft of product incidents
  • Loss of volumes as a result of product theft negatively impacts volume and revenue objectives

The product theft incidents caused interruptions on the pipeline operations, however, Pipelines continued to ensure security of fuel supply to the inland market.

The company also considers, as a high risk, the failure of certain parts of the Durban-Johannesburg Pipeline (Sasolburg to Kroonstad and Alrode to OR Tambo International Airport) due to inherent defects in the line.

Transnet expects to continue to implement the Pipeline Security Strategy to ensure safe operations and minimise the impact of fuel theft on the operational and financial performances.

It also wants to “fast-track the environmental remediation backlog to comply with relevant and applicable environmental legislation while maintaining organisational sustainability”.

AFC Bets Big in Ugandan Petroleum Product Transportation

The Mahathi Infra investment will eliminate approximately 100,000 truck journeys, annually, on East Africa’s busiest transport route – from Kisumu, Kenya, to Kampala, Uganda.

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), has invested close to a hundred million dollars in Mahathi Infra Uganda Limited, one of East Africa’s largest oil and gas downstream players.

The financier’s $95.25Million investment will finance the construction of two self-propelled barges for operation on Lake Victoria, providing a more efficient and less carbon intensive alternative to traditional trucking, AFC says in a release. “The financing will also support enabling infrastructure including 14 petroleum storage tanks, 20 truck loading bays, a jetty, and a parking lot with a capacity of 50 trucks, thereby transforming petroleum product transportation in Uganda and significantly reducing cost, transport time, and carbon emissions.

Uganda is a net importer of petroleum products, primarily through the Mombasa Port in Kenya.

“As such, the project will have a significant impact on the country’s economy with a single barge trip on Lake Victoria replacing 200 trucks on the road. Annually, AFC’s investment will eliminate approximately 100,000 truck journeys on East Africa’s busiest transport route – from Kisumu, Kenya, to Kampala, Uganda.

“This reduction in road traffic will ease congestion and minimize issues such as product adulteration, theft, and accidents. It will also alleviate working capital burdens for small and medium-sized distributors, enabling them to procure products directly from the Mahathi storage facility, reducing delivery time from seven days to immediate access” the release explains.

“The self-propelled barges are designed in accordance with international Environmental & Safety standards to prevent fuel leakage. They will decrease greenhouse gas emissions by over 95%, from 172,103 tonnes to 7,692 tonnes of CO2, annually on the basis that one self-propelled barge has the equivalent storage capacity of 200 trucks and a significantly shorter travel distance over Lake Victoria of about 250kilometres compared with the 350kilometre road route.

“Upon completion, Mahathi’s workforce is estimated to increase from 22 to 100 employees, 30% of whom will be women. The project’s impact extends beyond Uganda, serving as a foundation for future expansions into other landlocked countries near Lake Victoria”.

Libya’s Soaring Gasoline Import Bill Eats into Crude Output Revenues

Libya has been the second largest crude oil producer in Africa for most of the last six months.

But earnings from its near capacity 1.2Million Barrels Per Day (1.2MMBOPD) crude output are decimated by rising oil products imports, and a slump in gas exports to Italy have eaten into Tripoli’s revenues.

Libya’s crude oil output averaged 1.19MMBOPD for Q1 2023, the second straight quarter of near-1.2MMBOPD, and higher than any annual figure since 2010’s 1.54MMBOPD.

Most of the crude is exported, while the remainder is refined locally, mostly at the 120,000BOPD-capacity Zawiya refinery west of Tripoli, supplemented by small topping plants at Tobruk, Brega and Sarir.

The country’s largest refinery, the 220,000BOPD capacity Ras Lanuf plant, has been offline since 2013 due to a still-unresolved dispute between NOC and the plant’s Emirati owners.

Libya’s refined products output was 1.54Million tons (130,000BOPD) for Q1 2023, according to data from the country’s NOC.

Prudent Energy, 55 Others Get Licenses to Import Gasoline into Nigeria

By Fasilat Oluwuyi, Energy Access Reporter,  AOGR

Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), has disclosed that a total of 56 marketing companies have now gotten the license to import fuel in Nigeria.

Ahmed listed Prudent Energy, AYM Shafa and Emadeb as the three companies currently importing PMS, adding that others will commence importation between August and September 2023.

The NMDPRA head, who was fielding questions by reporters, reiterated that government no longer determines the price of Gasoline (PMS) in Nigeria, but the market.

The subsidy on PMS in the country formally ended on May 29, 2023, the inauguration date of president Bola Tinubu. The deregulation of the market took off on that date.

Ahmed explained that 10 of the 56 companies licenced to import PMS have indicated to supply within the third quarter which is July, August and September. “And out of those, we already received some cargoes from some of these Marketers”.

“Ahmed pointed out  that the fact that cargoes of PMS imported by  Prudent Energy, AYM Shafa and Emadeb, arrived on July 19, 2023, was an “encouraging sign that the market is liberated and everyone is free to import so long as you are working within the framework especially in terms of quality.”

Mele Kyari, NNPCL’s Group Chief Executive Officer,who was at the interactive session with reporters, said the upward rise in prices of PMS in the last six weeks of the deregulation has nothing to do with supply of PMS.

”There is no supply issue”, Kyari explained. “When you go to the market you buy the product, you come to the market and sell it at prevailing market price. There is nothing to do with supply, we don’t have supply issues.

”What I know is that the market forces will regulate the market, prices will go down sometimes and sometimes, it will go up but there will be stability of supply” he said



Angola, Nigeria Wind Down Fuel Subsidies, as Kenyans Brace for VAT Increases on Petrol

By Macson Obojemuinmoin

Angola’s increase in the price of gasoline at its filling stations by 88% is the farthest it has gone, in five years, to move the needle on fuel subsidy reduction.

On June 2, 2023, a litre of gasoline shot up from 160Kwanza to 300Kwanza, an 88% jump.

The government says that measures to mitigate the effect of the price increase will be implemented for some priority sectors and “highly vulnerable classes”. The subsidy (meaning former low prices) will remain for  the agricultural  and fishing sectors, some public companies like the Public Electricity Production Company ( PRODEL) as well as Taxi Drivers, Bus Drivers and goods laden Trucks.

The country has determined that subsidies on petroleum products, valued at close to $3.6Billion in 2022, will go, but it doesn’t want to take off the subsidy in one fell swoop.

The story is different in Nigeria, where gasoline subsidy ended on May 29, 2023,  the day of the coronation of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the country’s 16th President. Subsidies for other products had long gone. The new gasoline prices, of between 488Naira  in Lagos and 570 Naira in Borno, in the country’s far northeast,  are about 186% higher than the subsidized prices which became extinct on Mr. Tinubu’s inauguration day.

Kenya’s gasoline and diesel prices are deregulated, but President William Ruto is determined that a large increase in taxes is the way to fund the building of critical infrastructure. The Finance Bill submitted in mid May 2023 to Parliament is expected to  double VAT on petroleum products to 16%, pushing up prices of a litre of gasoline by Sh13.51 to Sh196.21, while diesel will increase by Sh12.40 to Sh180.88, at current crude oil prices.

Fuller details are published in the May 2023 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report



Egypt Reduces Diesel Subsidy Further by 14%

The Egyptian government has raised the price of diesel by (Egyptian Pound) EGP 1.00 to EGP 8.25 per litre.

The government left gasoline(petrol) prices, which are also subsidized, unchanged, considering that it was only increased in March 2023.

The 14% raise on diesel shoots up the price of product by 22% since July 2022, when the government increased the price for the first time in five years in the context of the commodities shock triggered by the war in Ukraine.

Egypt’s Petroleum Ministry argues that the price of diesel to the government has risen to EGP 12.25 per litre as a result of both devaluation of the local currency and the higher prices in the global market. This increase should peg the subsidy at $2.1Billion (or EGP 64Billion) a year, from $2.64Billion (or EGP80Billion), the Ministry says.

Egyptians use diesel as the key fuel of public transport, as well as for vehicles that transport goods and raw materials around the country.

North Africa’s largest economy and the Arab World’s most populous country is an energy subsidy state. It pegs prices of piped natural gas for households and industry and converts over 4Billion standard cubic feet of gas every day into more than 40,000MW of electricity.

Russia Will Help Mozambique to Stabilize Fuel Prices

Russia has said it was open to working with Mozambique to reduce, by half, the cost of petroleum products in the country’s filling stations.

Alexander Surikov. Russian Ambassador to Mozambique, said his country would “allow Mozambique to start importing fuel directly from Russia, avoiding intermediaries, potentially reducing by at least half the costs of acquiring the products”.

Russia is wooing friends all over the world as the European Union imposes sanctions on it in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, which has pushed up crude oil prices and exacerbated global supply change challenges. Africa has become a key site in the contest of will between Russia and the west.

″Russia is open to working with Mozambique in this regard”, Surikov declared at a consultation meeting with the Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique (CTA), “We are open to projects in the fuel sector and in others of mutual interest.” he said.

Mozambique has had to deal with skyrocketing prices of petroleum products. The Mozambican Energy Regulatory Authority (Arene) announced the third fuel price rise in 2022 on July 1.

The sharpest rise was for LPG cooking gas for which a kilo of gas leaped by 19.28% from 85.53 meticais to 102.02 meticais; the price of a litre of diesel rose by 11.4% from 78.97 to 87.97 meticais. For gasoline the increase was 4.4%, from 83.3 to 86.97 meticais a litre. This is the first time that diesel has become more expensive than petrol at Mozambican filling stations.

The price of a litre of kerosene rose from 71.48 to 75.58 meticais, which is an increase of 5.74%.

Egypt Raises Diesel Price to Curb $3Billion Subsidy Bill

The Egyptian government has raised the price of diesel for the first time in three years, hoping to reduce its subsidy bill by 13% as global energy prices head north.

The action effectively adds diesel to the basket of petroleum products whose prices the government has raised, in the context of the ongoing global energy crisis.

Egypt is one of Africa’s largest energy-subsidy economies. The government subsidises piped natural gas to households; prices of gasoline and cost of diesel.

Egypt’s pricing committee has routinely raised the price of gasoline in the last 18 months, but it had not included diesel: the main fuel used in public transportation as well as transportation of commodities.

Egypt uses diesel in transportation than it uses gasoline contrary to many other countries.

The fuel pricing committee increased the price of diesel to 7.25 Egyptian Pound (EGP7.25) per litre from EGP6.75, as well as hiked petrol prices by up to 10%, the Petroleum Ministry said in a statement The new prices went into effect immediately and will remain unchanged until the beginning of the fourth quarter 2022.

North Africa’s largest economy and the Arab World’s most populous state had absorbed the extra cost of diesel after global fuel prices shot up on the back of the Russia-Ukraine war — and was facing an annual diesel subsidy bill of $3.3Billion EGP 63Billion, according to Mostafa Kamal Madbouly, the country’s Prime Minister. A liter of diesel had cost EGP 11 on average since April 2022, of which EGP 4.25 was subsidized by the government, costing it $285Million (EGP 5.4Billion), Mr. Madbouly explains, adding that the little hike should reduce the state’s subsidy bill to $2.9Billion (or EGP55Billion).

Gasoline (petrol) prices also rose as follows

95-octane is EGP 10.75 per litre, up 10.3% from EGP 9.75;

92-octane is EGP 9.25 per litre, up 5.7% from EGP 8.75;

80-octane is EGP 8.00 per litre, up 6.6% from EGP 7.50.

Mazut fuel oil prices rose by 8.7% to EGP 5,000 per ton for all industries except food and electricity producers, who continue to be charged EGP 4,200 per ton.

This is the sixth consecutive quarter petrol prices have risen. The price at the pump is now up 23-28% since last April, depending on which grade you’re putting in the tank.

But the country has a dilemma of declining value of its currency against the American dollar, meaning that prices, even as they have adjusted, remain far below global market levels. What’s more: foreign reserves have plummeted to 5-year lows, as subsidy spending surges.

“These new price increases were substantially less than the 13% fall in the value of the Egyptian pound against the US dollar over the previous quarter (from $1=E£16.1 to $1=E£18.5)”, reports MEES, a industry trade journal which publishes weekly analyses of the Middle East’s oil and gas developments. “As such the latest prices are actually lower in dollar terms than those three months earlier. Indeed, in dollar terms the latest gasoline prices are only fractionally higher than those two years earlier at the height of the COVID 19-induced slump in oil demand when global oil prices were well under half current levels”, MEES says.


Zambia Commences a $1.5Billion Diesel Pipeline to Tanzania

Zambia has begun building the first phase of a 1,700-kilometre-long pipeline to pump diesel fuel from neighbouring Tanzania, with an initial investment of $300Million.

“Phase one of the pipeline will end in Mpika (District in northern Zambia), phase two in Ndola (in Copperbelt Province) and phase three in Solwezi (in northwestern Zambia)”, Peter Kapala, Zambia’s Energy minister, said on a live radio broadcast July 3, 2022.

“In a few months’ time”, Kapala declared, “the pipeline will start pumping diesel fuel into Zambia”.

The minister did not provide any details for the second and third phases of the project.

The new pipeline will have more advanced specifications than-but will run alongside- the Tazama Pipeline, a 54-year-old, 1,710-kilometre facility that transports raw material for refining from the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola, Zambia.

The project will be pivotal in the country’s long-term goal of stabilizing diesel supply and maintaining favourable pump price, the minister adds.

A litre of diesel in Lusaka, the Zambian capital cost around $2 as of Sunday, July 3, 2022.

Plans to construct a new pipeline to complement the Tazama infrastructure, which is suffering integrity issues, has been on the table for a while. The new government headed by Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, less than 12 months in office, put the project right back on the front burner.

Zambia’s current daily diesel consumption hovers around two million liters, with the main consumer being mines, and the country’s supply level has remained fairly stable despite the challenges of the war in Ukraine.



BP Divests a Strategic, Fuel Storage Terminal, to a Black Owned South African Company

British Petroleum Southern Africa (bpSA) has sold one of its 100% owned liquid bulk fuels import terminals to black women-owned and managed independent petrochemicals company Wasaa in what is regarded as a landmark transformation deal.

The terminal is located at the Port of East London, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province.

Prior to the sale, bpSA had six fuel storage terminals, two 100% owned by bpSA, (one of which is now sold); two (Alrode and Pretoria) jointly owned with Sasol (50/50); one (Island View) jointly owned with Shell (50/50) and one (Rustenburg) owned by Astron (⅓), bpSA (⅓) and Engen (⅓). We invest in our terminal infrastructure to provide world class road and rail gantries, fire-fighting capability, tanks and pipelines.

Johannesburg-based Wasaa is a subsidiary of the Wasaa Group, which was founded and is led by Nokwanele Qonde, aranking South African female entrepreneur.

In line with the agreement, Wasaa Terminals has also acquired 100 percent of the terminal’s movable assets and a 20 percent stake in the berth to terminal pipeline. Sout Africa’s top finance website Moneyweb reports that Wasaa Terminals began taking over terminal responsibilities on December 6, 2021.

bpSA will retain the operations of its transport business operating outside of East London. Wasaawill provide terminal storage and handling services to bpSA in the Eastern Cape port city.



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