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In Pursuit of Africa’s Green Deal

By Gerard Kreeft 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The call to leave fossil fuels in the ground is a Western narrative and fails to factor in the needs of low-income Africans who would gain from a strategic approach to oil and gas operations, job creation and local enterprise opportunities,”. Quoted by NJ Ayuk, Chair, African Energy Chamber in Upstream.

NJ Ayuk’s remarks are directed to the IMF, IEA, and OECD, who are urging African countries to abandon their oil and gas assets and instead become pro-active and join the Energy Transition.

Solar, wind and hydropower are the symbols of this transition.

Setting the Scene: The External Constraints

While Ayuk’s sentiments  may strike a responsive chord it also invites a measured response. The Energy Transition is global and not restricted to Africa. It supercedes national boundaries.

The response from the oil and gas community, given that many of the oil majors work on a global basis, is also done on a global basis. This past six months, with the double curse of an oil trade war and COVID-19, the response was a global lockdown, regardless of where the majors had operations. While this double jeopardy has little to do with the Energy Transition, the global affect factor is omnipresent.

Of importance to Africa is the rate of impairment to oil and gas projects on a global scale. The most radical sign was  TOTAL’s writing down two oil sands projects in Canada which it had categorized previously as “proven assets”.

The SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers ) on behalf of the industry,  is responsible for categorizing oil and gas reserves. The category “proved reserves”is the gold standard for indicating  a company’s oil and gas reserves. If proven reserves indeed becomes the equivalent of stranded assets this should sound off alarm bells in the board rooms of all the majors.

TOTAL’s strategy is focused on the  two energy scenarios developed by the IEA (International Energy Agency). Stated Policies Scenario(SPS) is geared for the short/ medium term;  Sustainable Development Scenario(SDS) for medium/long term.  The scenarios are in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Taking the “well below 2oC ”SDS scenario on board, TOTAL has in essence taken on a new classification system for struggling oil companies seeking a green future.

ExxonMobil is following a similar line. In a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company indicated that it is possible it will write down its  Kearl Project proved reserves in the Canadian Oil Sands of its Canadian affiliate Imperial Petroleum, which account for 20% of the company’s 22.4 BOE ( billion barrels  oil equivalent) reported at year 2019.

Finally there is the Deloitte study entitled “The Great Compression: Implications of COVID-19 for the US  shale market”. Deloitte is forecasting impairments of up to $300Billion; and 30% of shale operators are technically insolvent.

The Deloitte study notes: “New telecommunicating norms, regionalized trade and supply chains and the stable business profile of new energies have fast forwarded the spector of peak demand to the present”.

What the study is really concluding is that the oil and natural gas infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes and being replaced by new energy which is reliable and stable!

For the service sector both Rystad Energy and the Boston Consulting Group have little good news. At the beginning of this year, according to Rystad, ultra-deep day rates were moving to the mid- $250, 000 –$260, 000 for spot work, and expecting to cross the $300 000 threshold for work with long lead times. Now further rate drops could push day rates to a level of the offshore driller’s operating expenditures.

The Boston Consulting Group, in a recent study, concluded that in 2021 the service sector will be asked to reduce costs between 20 -25%.

An African Response

Africa has 10% of the world’s oil reserves and 8% of the natural gas reserves.

African countries are also revising their energy plans. Angola’s Council of Ministers  approved a revised hydrocarbon exploration strategy that will be in effect until 2025. The strategy aims to guarantee a baseline production of over 1MMBOPD (Million barrels per day) by 2040 and the discovery of 17.5Billion bpd of oil (barrels per day) and  27 tcf of natural gas. Currently the country’s production is 1.2MMBOPD.

In a mature petro-economy where oil assets are starting to age, perhaps a bold strategy.  Yet the Government with this plan is admitting that production will  be halved compared to  the 1.8MMBOPD of a decade ago.

Angola’s goal of 1MMBOPD of production is not guaranteed.  A writ from the Angolan Government having such a strategy is dependent on  factors beyond its control. Is there any guarantee that a portion of these potential reserves will  not become stranded assets?

What about the majors, in particular TOTAL, which has a dominant position in Africa. In the past months TOTAL’s strategy was to reduce spending, sell marginal North Sea assets, buy Tullow’s Uganda assets at fire sale prices, and seek financing of its  Mozambique LNG project.

The speed of bringing projects to market will not be determined by the Government of Angola, but rather TOTAL’s pursuit of following the IEA norm of well below 2oC.

Clark Butler, author of the IEEFA’s (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis) reports in a  study “Oil Supermajors’Trajectory Towards Renewables Needs to Scale Up and Speed Up” that TOTAL must drastically increase its renewables and decrease its carbon intensity if it is to meet its climate goals. This can only mean reducing its carbon footprint and yes, in  Africa, and in this case Angola will be thrown under the bus.

Is Angola the exception? Not likely. Other African producers  have varying energy and environmental  policies. Africa is a house divided. Many countries, Many policies.

An African answer can possibly be found  in the long-delayed African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) which kicks in next year. Then  1.2Billion people across 55 nations needing access to an integrated regional energy market supported by local supply chains and intra-African trade will take place.

Highlighting the agonies of the oil and gas sector tends to blot out the march that renewables are making. Again take Angola and the goals that are being set:

  • The Laúca Hydropower Plant, once completed will reach an installed capacity of 2, 070 MW, becoming one of the largest hydropower plants in Southern Africa, alongside the Cahora Bassa Hydropower plant, in Mozambique.
  • The Baynes Hydroelectric Dam. Located on the Cunene River on the border between Angola and Namibia, the 600-megawatt dam is planned for commencement of construction in 2021, with an estimated cost of $1.2Billion and a completion date scheduled for 2025. Of the 600 MW to be produced by the plant, 300 MW will be directed to Angola and Namibia, respectively.
  • Improving the access to energy services in rural areas based on renewable sources.

    Dr Akinwumi A Adesina, President of the African Development Bank

  • Develop the use of the new renewable technologies connected to the grid, enhancing the establishment of new markets and reduction of regional asymmetries.
  • Promote and accelerate the private and public investment in the new renewable energies.

Finally, a small footnote to congratulate Dr Akinwumi A Adesina, President of the African Development Bank on his re-election for a five-year term. Under his leadership “Light Up and Power Africa”became a key theme of the Bank.

The Bank Group has approved a 125% increase in the General Capital of the Bank raising its capital to $208Billion from $93Billion, the largest in the history of the Bank.

In the next five year period of his Presidency oil and gas assets should be viewed as a currency to finance the next step of the energy transition ensuring that Africa can  design and build its own Green Deal.

Kreeft,  BA ( Calvin University ) and  MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), Energy Transition Adviser, was founder and owner of EnergyWise.  He has managed and implemented energy conferences, seminars and master classes in Alaska, Angola, Brazil, Canada, India, Libya, Kazakhstan, Russia and throughout Europe. He writes on a regular basis for Africa Oil and + Report.

 

 

 

 


Digital Transformation in Oil & Gas—How to Choose the Right Partners?

PAID POST

Low oil prices, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, are putting pressure on oil and gas companies to reduce operational costs through efficiency and optimization. There is only a limited number of ways to achieve this — by downsizing, reducing production, or implementing digital transformation. While a quick fix, downsizing and production reduction are not sustainable solutions. As such, more and more oil and gas companies are looking at the strategic advantages of digital transformation, driven by cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Digitization: A Must for the Oil and Gas Industry

According to Accenture Technology Vision 2019, of the 168 oil and gas executives surveyed, 85% from upstream and 90% from downstream companies said that they were currently implementing one or more of the following technologies: Distributed Ledger Technology, AI, Extended Reality, and Quantum Computing (DARQ).

In recent years, most large oil and gas companies have increased investment in digital transformation. Internationally, large multinationals have launched their own digital and intelligent oilfield construction plans, such as the Digital Oilfield by ExxonMobil, Integrated Development by ConocoPhillips, Smart-Field by Royal Dutch Shell, I-Field by Chevron, and E-Field by BP.

Chinese enterprises have also been actively implementing new digital strategies in the industry. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has built an exploration and production cloud platform, as well as over 50 digital management systems, including exploration and development, refinery and chemical engineering, and service support, among others. Sinopec has set up three digital platforms for operation management, production operation, as well as information infrastructure and O&M. In addition, it has built several technology-driven solutions, such as ProMACE, smart factory, Chememall, and Epec. At the same time, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is developing on-going plans for intelligent oilfields. It has successfully built unmanned platforms, and has piloted multiple projects on intelligent exploration, oil production, asset management, and drilling and completion.

Oil and gas companies are rapidly investing in digital and intelligent projects to improve exploration and development efficiency and reduce production costs. Ultimately, the industry looks to seize the opportunities that digital transformation has to offer.

A Difficult Road to Digital Transformation

Each upstream enterprise progresses at a different pace during digital transformation. Various companies in the oil and gas industry have achieved different levels of development in data monitoring and collection, device networking, data analysis, and predictive maintenance; the industry overall has had some success in these domains. However, the further the industry transforms digitally, the more challenges it faces.

Zhang Tiegang, former Deputy Chief Engineer of Daqing Oilfield Exploration and Development Research Institute, introduced the three key pain points in the digital transformation of the oil and gas industry at the Huawei Oil and Gas Virtual Summit 2020 held on July 15.

  1. Massive Data Growth

Compared with other industries, oil and gas manages an even larger amount of data. For example, the amount of seismic data is increasing at an unprecedented speed. As oil and gas exploration becomes more difficult, the process requires more precise seismic wave exploration techniques. Broadband, wide-azimuth, and high-density (BWH) seismic data collection is particularly important, amounting to nearly 1 TB/km2. The exploration area is constantly expanding and the originally collected high-resolution seismic data in just a single work area may amount to over 17 TB. In addition, the continuous increase in historical data records further speeds up data growth.

  1. Increased Computation Workload and Complexity

The ever-increasing data volume leads to a sharp increase in the computation workload. For example, the computation workload of pre-stack reverse time migration (RTM) and storage volume are 10 and 50 times higher than before, respectively. To ensure comprehensive and accurate understanding of oilfield production dynamics, the computation requirements of large-scale reservoir numerical simulation also increase significantly. Therefore, oilfield companies have increasingly high requirements on data processing technologies. More and more complex algorithms — such as anisotropic pre-stack depth imaging, RTM, and full waveform inversion (FWI) — also pose higher requirements on computational capabilities.

  1. Weak Information Infrastructure

Equipment rooms, computing, storage, and IT O&M constitute the information infrastructure system of oil and gas enterprises. Most companies used to build their own, resulting in many equipment rooms with high energy consumption and low security. At the same time, low server configuration and utilization are no longer able to meet the requirements of massive data processing. In addition, the existing shared storage devices come from different providers and feature low capacity, unable to store massive data. Moreover, O&M departments face increasing pressure to hire highly skilled personnel to ensure the O&M of independent and scattered IT with a poor intelligence level.

Partnership Can Help Oil & Gas Streamline Digital Transformation Who Will the Partners Be?

The digital transformation of oil and gas enterprises is a huge systematic undertaking. Therefore, technical support from IT companies is indispensable.

Partnership Between Oil and Gas Enterprises and IT Companies (Some Cases)

Every large oil company has chosen to form partnerships for digital transformation. In this case, IT companies provide oil and gas enterprises with comprehensive digital solutions by using advanced technologies such as AI, big data, and cloud computing.

Take the partnership between Huawei and Daqing Oilfield Company as an example. Cloudification is key for digital transformation. However, data, computing, and facilities present serious challenges. To address these, Daqing Oilfield Company cooperated with Huawei to build a cloud data center, achieving an elastic supply of IT resources. The computing power of the data center now reaches 1,000 trillion FLOPS — a 300% increase in efficiency. Thanks to the elastic supply of computing and storage resources, the acquisition period has been reduced from three days to three hours. At the same time, servers with super computing power and the cloud-based deployment environment optimize data processing by 3 to 10 times. To achieve this, production data is transmitted to the cloud center through the high-speed dedicated network for processing. The calculation results are automatically sent back to the data center for archiving and management, ensuring the security of the core oilfield data.

In addition, Huawei has developed multiple technical service capabilities for oilfield digitization by using technologies such as AI, big data, and 5G. By deploying HUAWEI CLOUD, SONATRACH (Algeria) has successfully transitioned to cloud-based IT by deploying a company-wide ERP system. With AI, big data, and industrial IoT technologies, Huawei has built a fault prediction model for predictive maintenance of pumping units. Huawei has also built the largest industrial 5G oilfield lab in Europe’s biggest oil refinery, as well as implemented future-oriented services such as inspection robots, wireless sensors, “connected” employees, and predictive maintenance. Recently, Shengli Oilfield and Huawei recently signed a strategic cooperation agreement to build a cloud platform and 5G-based intelligent oilfields.

Efficiency and cost are the competitiveness indicators of the oil and gas industry. As a leading global ICT solutions provider, Huawei is continuously working with oil and gas partners to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and achieve digital transformation.

  1. Improved efficiency

In line with the strategy of increasing reserves and production, how to maximize value from historical exploration and development data has become a new requirement of CNPC. Together with partners, Huawei planned and built a computing AI platform for CNPC, to implement AI training and big data analytics. The customer has now applied AI in multiple ways, such as artificial lift fault diagnosis and seismic first arrival wave identification. The value of underused historical exploration and production data has been fully explored.

  1. Reduced cost

Huawei built a local, dedicated cloud for Daqing Oilfield, to provide oil and gas exploration computing. This in turn helped Daqing to optimize its costs and shift high-performance exploration and development computing services from CAPEX to OPEX. By reusing ten PB of historical exploration data, the cloud helped improve computing power by 833 percent, and increase the annually processed area from 400 square kilometers to 2000 square kilometers.

Strong partnerships are essential in the oil and gas industry, regardless of the digital transformation strategies a company may adopt. Alone, digital transformation is difficult, due to its complex technical requirements. The key for success is to build strong and strategic partnerships with industry leaders, ensuring a clear scope of cooperation. In this period of digital transformation, it is critical for oil and gas enterprises to choose their partners wisely — it will define the industry trends, but more importantly, it will determine who will become the new industry leaders.


Where is the Gas Market, in Africa Itself?

Egypt couldn’t get enough natural gas, before COVID-19 intruded, to fire its power turbines, feed its methanol plants and heat the boilers in its industries.

A 30 Trillion cubic feet (30Tcf) discovery, made five years ago, in 2,000 metres of water, is already producing over 2Billion cubic feet a day for the local economy.

That kind of absorptive capacity is not comparable with anywhere else in Africa.

South Africa is a potentially large market for gas, but we won’t find out until the country, boldly takes actions, to invite inward investment that allow natural gas inflow into the economy.

That not many countries in Africa can consume even midsize volumes of these light hydrocarbon molecules, is the reason why the continent’s highly populated countries are forever scurrying around the globe looking to export either by LNG or piped gas.

We’ve been tracking the domestic gas markets all over Africa for over five years and what we get is creeping increases, not a surge.

Construction is underway at the 13Million Tonnes per Annum (MMMTPA) Mozambican LNG, the 8MMTPA Nigerian LNG Train 7 and the 600MMscf/d ANOH gas projects, because the Financial Investment Decisions were taken on these projects last year.

We are inclined to single out the ANOH project for salutation because it is dedicated to the domestic market, but pulling off the deals for those two large LNG projects are also, in themselves, the stuff of true grit.

Let us take a survey of what’s exciting in African Gas. Click here.

The Africa Oil+Gas Report provides peerless perspective and insight on policy issues and technical innovation, backgrounded by high quality energy intelligence to guide everyone from the prospecting E&P company to the project finance institution. Published by the Festac News Press Limited since November 2001, AOGR is a paid subscription based monthly, hardcopy and pdf (e-copy) publication delivered around the world.

Its website remains www.africaoilgasreport.com and the contact email address is info@africaoilgasreport.com . Contact telephone numbers in our West African regional headquarters in Lagos are +2348130733523, +2347062420127, +2348036525979 and +2348023902519.

 


Natural Gas at a Turning Point: Notes From Gas Cartel Workshop

Increased cooperation between producers and buyers, digitalisation across the value-chain, investment in infrastructure and research and development in innovative technologies will play a pivotal role in positioning natural gas as a fuel of choice for the 21st century global economy.
These were some of the key messages of the distinguished line-up of international gas industry leaders and panellists who participated in the 3rd GECF Annual Workshop on Promotion of Natural Gas Demand.

The widely attended workshop, held virtually, was organised by the GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum) at a critical time for the gas industry which is facing unprecedented levels of complexity and market upheaval brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and persistently mild winter. In spite of this, the speakers opined that natural gas is the fuel that can achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of Paris Agreement as its credentials far outweigh that of other energy sources such as coal and oil.

Welcoming the audience, Yury Sentyurin the GECF Secretary General, outlined the salient points that leverage gas industry’s growth and highlighted the Forum’s efforts in promotion of natural gas, in line with the GECF Statute, the GECF Long-Term Strategy, and the Declaration of Malabo at the conclusion the 5th GECF Summit of Heads of States and Government, all of which guide the GECF to advocate for the versatility of natural gas based on fair pricing policies and a level playing field, amongst other factors.

“We recognise the vital role that natural gas has to play in energy transition and sustainable development as we strive for energy security for all nations. Now more than ever, there must be a spirit of collective collaboration amongst industry players in order to sustain existing markets, and more so to create new promising ones,” said Mr. Sentyurin.

“We also recognise the crucial role of digitalisation as we strive to reduce cost across the natural gas value chain and enhance the competitiveness of natural gas.”

The Secretary General noted that the workshop was instrumental in increasing awareness of natural gas within the framework of global energy security and provided potential strategies to promote natural gas demand, some of which include the crucial role of advocacy for natural gas, government policies that need to encourage natural gas utilisation, cooperation amongst market stakeholders, the role of technological disruptions, importance of robust pricing mechanisms to secure sustainability of supply, investment in infrastructure in consumer countries, and other actions that will be studied further in the GECF Secretariat for future actions.

The keynote speakers included Joe M. Kang, the President of International Gas Union (IGU), N. J. Ayuk, Executive Chairman of African Energy Chamber Magdy Galal, Chairman of Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), and Shamsairi Mohd Ibrahim, Vice President LNG Marketing & Trading of Petronas.

The session was followed by two immersive panel sessions.

In his intervention, Mr. Kang referred to the messages published in the IGU’s latest report, ‘Gas Technology and Innovation for a Sustainable Future’, and focused his remarks on the potential that technology can offer in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy access. He also highlighted the urgency of investment decisions to be made if this potential is to be realised.

Mr. Ayuk thanked the GECF for bringing the natural gas agenda to Africa, particularly by hosting the Forum’s Summit in Equatorial Guinea, and thereby in Africa for the first time, in 2019. He also appreciated the GECF’s work in promoting further cooperation with African countries to use gas as the core source of energy in the development programmes and climate change policies, in delivering energy to the continent’s consumers, more broadly in alleviating energy poverty. Mr. Ayuk emphasised the crucial need for development of the gas industry in Africa through investment in infrastructure and industries.

Following this, Dr. Galal pointed out the steps taken by the Egyptian government in stemming the decline in consumption in Egypt due to the COVID-19 impact, which has seen a drop in demand by 13% between January and May 2020 compared to last year. According to him, whilst the government lowered the price of gas in the industrial sector, more incentives needed to be provided by it, especially in the upstream activity by providing flexible terms in the concession agreements. Over the long-term, he said, serious actions should be considered by the gas industry in terms of adapting new strategies to ensure sustainability of the business. This might include significant structural and organisational changes.

Mr. Ibrahim of Petronas pointed out that the rising number of LNG importing countries from merely 15 in 2005 to 39 countries in 2019 shows that LNG is well positioned to prosper as the most significant source of energy in the future. He also highlighted some creative LNG solutions including LNG bunkering, virtual pipeline system, small-scale break-bulking and vertical integration that will create new and niche markets. Furthermore, Mr Ibrahim stated that the value of natural gas should be preserved while creating a level-playing field between producers and consumers.

The GECF Gas Market Analysis Department Head Ms Mahdjouba Belaifa then spoke about the importance of this annual workshop for the industry and the GECF’s role in aligning many voices as one voice. She explained that in the previous two workshops the key identified areas for natural gas were held with a focus on cost competitiveness, policy advocacy, importance of long-term oil indexed contracts for the security of supply, development of infrastructure, and new business models. She highlighted some of the proposed actions after the workshops such as reinforcement of dialogue, role of R&D, fair access to technology, engagement of policymakers in advocacy for fair policies towards natural gas, the role of social media to sensitise various segments of the public, as well as digital technologies to improve productivity.

In the first panel discussion, ‘Improving the competitiveness of natural gas through Cost Optimisation and Digitalisation’, the participants discussed a number of themes affecting the global gas and LNG markets. Moderated by Stuart Elliot, Senior Writer of European Gas & LNG at S&P Global Platts, joining this debate were Robbin Mills, CEO of Qamar Energy and Vincent Demoury, General Delegate of International Group of LNG Importers (GIIGNL).

Mr. Mills focused his views on the Middle East region, where he mentioned that gas demand growth is expected to shift from power to the industrial sector in the long-term due to increasing renewables deployment and improved efficiency. As it relates to a gas surplus in the region, this could bring several opportunities, including new lighter industries, intra-regional export projects (gas, LNG and electricity), enhanced oil recovery, hydrogen production, and expansion of e-vehicles, which will support a growth in electricity demand.

Mr. Demoury held the view that although LNG has been growing at a healthy pace over the last few years it faces several challenges in a post-COVID-19 world, including economic growth, volatility, affordability, and environmental policies. As such, there is a need that producers, consumers, and policymakers work together to develop methodologies and invest in technology for decarbonising the gas industry and innovation to improve its competitiveness and sustainability.

The second panel, ‘Adapting to new gas market realities in a post-COVID-19 situation: Low Prices and Weakened Demand’, was moderated by Nikolay Kozhanov, Research Associate Professor at the Gulf Studies Centre at the Qatar University, and featured the presentations of Mr Ayuk, as well as Sergei Komlev, Head of Contract Structuring and Pricing Directorate from Gazprom Export and Mike Fulwood, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Mr. Fulwood maintained that while there are opportunities for growth in gas demand in Sub-Saharan Africa and emerging Asian LNG markets, gas will continue to face competition from coal in Asia. On the other hand, Mr. Sergei drew the audience’s attention to spot prices which he believed tended to overreact to even minor market imbalances while in his opinion oil-indexation provided a more stable gas price.

NJ Ayuk reiterated the issue of lack of infrastructure in Africa, in particular, a deficit in regasification facilities. He signalled out the huge potential of gas monetisation in Africa, where gas industry development will trigger social and economic growth and create jobs.

Throughout the workshop, regular Q&A sessions took place whilst a few real-time polls were also conducted.

The Annual Workshop on Promotion of Natural Gas Demand is a premier industry event and is designed to empower professionals and observers in the field of gas market to gain a deeper understanding of the market conditions, look at the common challenges,  and think collectively on ways to promote natural gas to enhance its prospects as the fuel of choice for sustainable development.

This report was written by the public relations department of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum

 


Former Sonangol Chairperson Loses Court Case to the Angolan State, in France

Isabel dos Santos has lost one of the several pitched battles she is waging against her country for going after her allegedly stolen wealth.

An arbitration tribunal in Paris, France, ruled itself incompetent to hear the charges that the former Chairperson of the Sonangol, the Angolan state hydrocarbon company, brought against the government of Angola.

This particular case involves the cancellation of the concessioning of the Barra do Dande port, located north of Luanda, to Atlantic Ventures, a company in which Ms. Dos Santos is a shareholder.

That concessioning, made through a presidential decree signed by (former) President José Eduardo dos Santos a few days before leaving power in September 2017, drew widespread public condemnation of cronyism and nepotism, as Ms. Dos Santos is President dos Santos’ daughter.

That decree was annulled by another presidential decree, signed by (current) President João Lourenço in 2018. And this is why Ms. Dos Santos is in court.

The arbitration tribunal’s decision effectively aligns with the position of the Angolan authorities, who are insisting that the dispute is an Angolan affair that should be settled by the Angolan judiciary system.

The tribunal ordered Atlantic Ventures to pay approximately $228,000 to the Angolan authorities, corresponding to the reimbursement of costs incurred in the proceedings.

The Angolan authorities had explained that, despite the discussions between the two parties on the concession, no contract or clause on the settlement of a possible dispute has been signed, making it impossible to exercise arbitration justice, an argument validated by the tribunal.

 


Siemens’ Spin-Off of Energy Unit Gets Unanimous Approval

By Mackson Orija

A large majority of Siemens shareholders voted Friday July 10, 2020, to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business to Siemens Energy AG.

“This step paves the way for the establishment of an independent company rigorously focused on the energy sector”, the German conglomerate said in a release.

“In the future, Siemens AG will concentrate on Digital Industries, Smart Infrastructure and Siemens Mobility”, the company explained.

In total, 61.94 % of the capital stock of Siemens AG entitled to vote was represented at the shareholders’ meeting, which was held as a virtual event due to the coronavirus crisis.

Approval of the Spin-off and Transfer Agreement between Siemens AG and Siemens Energy AG was the only item on the meeting agenda.

The agreement was approved by a majority of 99.36 percent of the capital stock represented. The highest number of participants following the Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting online was 3,870 at the July 10, 2020 Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting.


Assala Has Vivid Plans Post COVID-19

Assala Energy increased production of the Shell assets it bought in Gabon from 40,000BOPD to 55,000BOPD in the space of two years.

The London headquartered company claims it installed new equipment and brought down the cost per barrel to $12.

It is hoping to ride the storm of steep drop in prices, exacerbated by COVID-19, even with all the volatility.

Assala pumped $60Million into the five acreages in 2018 and spent $240Million more in 2019, in the process, drilling 20 new wells and optimizing 60 existing wells.

It had a war chest of $300Million for 2020, of which it had spent $70Milion in the first quarter alone.

So what will happen now?

If it survives the next 12 months, its plan is to continue from where it stopped.

The company was raring to go before COVID-19 happened. In late 2019 it acquired three onshore exploration licences from the Gabonese authorities: Mutamba-Iroru II, Nziembou II and Ozigo II, in addition to the five licences it purchased from Shell: Rabi Kounga II Toucan II Bende M’Bassou Totou II, Koula/Damier and Gamba/Iyinga. It also holds interests in four non-operated licences (Atora, Avocette, Coucal and Tsengui.

This story was originally published, for the competitive benefit of paying subscribers, in the May 2020 issue of the monthly  Africa Oi+Gas Report.

 

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