All posts tagged feature


Simon-Hart Joins NDEP’s Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director 

Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc (NDEP) has appointed Patricia Simon-Hart to its Board as an Independent Director.

She is only the second female to be appointed member of the company’s board of directors in a period spanning over 20 years. Zuwairatu Mantu, the first woman appointed to NDEP board, joined in 2010 and left in 2014.

NDEP says that Simon-Hart’s appointment, effective from the 4th of November 2022, “is in continuation” of its ongoing, “forward-looking preparations for the new challenges of growth and transformation as the emerging leading African energy Company”.

At board meetings, Simon -Hart, will join Titi Omisore, the company’s Group Legal Adviser and Company Secretary who has, for most of the years, been the only female presence among nine men.

The founder and Managing Director of Aftrac Limited, an ISO 9001:2015 certified oil and gas service company in operation for over 25 years, Simon -Hart is involved in several bespoke activities in the Nigerian oil industry. She is on the Executive Board of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), a Council member for WEConnect International, and a member of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board’s (NCDMB’s) Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF), Sectoral Working Group (SWG) for Diversity.

She “brings over 30 years of experience in Management, Public Policy and Administration to the NDEP Board and has a varied career spanning oil and gas, ICT, water and also public service”, NDEP reports in its statement.  “Ms. Simon Hart has a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard, Kennedy School of Government, a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics/Computer Science & Statistics, from the University of Port Harcourt, and is an alumnus of London Business School.

“Ms. Simon-Hart is also a co-founder and the Vice President (Upstream) of Women in Energy Network (WEIN), an organisation established in 2020 to provide a platform for Women that work across the energy industry value chain to network, build confidence and progress their careers and businesses.

“She has served the Government of Rivers State through her appointment as Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development between 2009-2015.  She was later engaged as a Consultant of Industrial Economics, Incorporated (USA), appointed to the World Bank/United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)/ African Union Commission (AUC). While in this role, she worked on the Project and Conceptual Framework for the development of the African Climate Resilient Investment Facility, including the development of guidelines, provision of training, delivery of on-demand advisory services, and rendering assistance to AU member countries to attract Climate Finance”.

 


The Facts, The Figures: Why NNPC’s Divestment is the Place to Go

By the Editorial Board of Africa Oil+Gas Report

For close to 50 years, the company formerly known as Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has functioned essentially in two key areas of the petroleum industry.

The first is upstream crude oil and natural gas operations.

The second comprises services, midstream, and downstream activity.

A close examination of the performance of this state-owned entity, in these sectors, in those decades, provides us a handy guide to determine the merit of the recent calls for its outright privatization.

In the 49 years since Nigeria inaugurated the Joint Venture scheme between NNPC and multinational companies, six (6) international majors, have effectively produced all of Nigeria’s crude oil and gas output.

These multinationals have been self-regulating, with high standards of efficiency, governance, and application of technology, that, in spite of NNPC, they planned and executed programmes for national production, which grew to a peak of 2.531Barrels per day (crude oil and condensate) in 2010, according to the BP Review of Statistics, an industry bible of production data. It was easy for NNPC, the 57% (average) equity holder of the JVs, to take credit for these numbers.

Now the multinationals have, since 2012, been steadily implementing a withdrawal and are being replaced by Nigerian independents who do not have the same standards, efficiency, governance, and application of technology.

In the same hydrocarbon patch in which these six multinationals could collectively produce 2.5Million Barrels per day, there are now over 30 producing companies, “superintended” by NNPC, collectively struggling to deliver 1.3Million Barrels per day (crude oil and condensates), with heavy sweating. It’s not a challenge of geology, we aver, but above-surface issues.

Throughout what is now known as the golden era of Nigerian crude production, NNPC’s main contribution has been the long, dispiriting stretch of contracting cycles and delayed cash call payments.

Now the NNPC has grown larger in terms of asset footprint, with more acreages handed to them in those last 10 years; the same decade in which the multinationals have retreated and Nigerian production has shriveled.

Eighty-eight percent (88%) of the fiscal contribution of oil and gas to the Nigerian treasury comes from rent: taxes and royalties and only 12% come from revenues accruing to NNPC from its equity in the Joint Ventures as well as share in Petroleum Sharing Contracts. NNPC’s whopping 57% of the main oil and gas producing projects translates to only 12% of the total contributions of oil and gas to the treasury. What this means in simple terms is this. If we assume that Nigeria is producing 2.5 Million barrels per day today, then NNPC’s entitlement will be 1.425Million barrels per day. This volume is what is the Federation volume. It is the one whose proceeds are always consistently underperforming. It is the one that Ahmed El Rufai, governor of the Nigerian northwestern state of Kaduna, alleges, never reaches the Federation account. It is this NNPC equity entitlement, that we aver, contributes just 12% of the total contributions of oil and gas to the treasury, at the best of times.

The bulk of contribution to the National Treasury from oil and gas comes from the petroleum profit tax (now hydrocarbon tax) and royalties that are paid by Shell, Chevron, TOTAL, ExxonMobil, ENI, Seplat, NDEP, NDWestern, AITEO, Newcross, Amni, Elcrest, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, Midwestern, Lekoil, First E&P, Conoil, Green Energy, Energia, Waltersmith, Platform, Britannia U, Savannah Energy, Sahara Energy, Oando, Shoreline, Neconde, Heirs Holdings, Oriental Resources, Eroton, NNPC itself and several others.

And there is another point we have to make here. It is its “senior” position in the JVs and its management of the PSCs that has provided NNPC the opportunity to wreak so much havoc (Poor cash call remittances, long contracting cycles, bullying service companies into partnerships with NNPC owned service companies and then insisting the contracts for oilfield service be awarded to those partnerships).

If NNPC was holding a zero percent interest in these JVs, the national purse will feel a more positive impact.

This is why the Africa Oil+Gas Report has always made the argument for the reduction of NNPC equity in the JVs.

The clearest example of the need for NNPC to be less than a 50% shareholder in Nigeria’s oil and gas projects is the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd. Its an incorporated joint venture of NNPC with three European majors (UK’s Shell, France’s TOTAL and Italy’s ENI) in which NNPC has 49% equity. That less than 50% NNPC equity allows these companies a breather to run one of the most profitable hydrocarbon operations (no cash call (payables) issues, no approval challenges for projects, no bullying), with billions of dollars guaranteed as dividends meant for the National Treasury.

Apart from JVs and Production Sharing Agreements in oil and gas production, the NNPC has an extensive network of subsidiaries, some of them service companies, some of them midstream companies, some are in transportation and some are in marketing.

The NNPC runs refineries. It has depots and pipelines for petroleum product storage and distribution.

It has a seismic acquisition and seismic data processing subsidiary chrsitened Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL); it has an engineering company named NETCO. It has a crude oil marketing division for marketing the Federation crude.

The refineries have not performed above 25% of their capacity since 1997, which is 25 years ago. NNPC’s bungling of its mandate to refine-the Nigerian- crude is one of the most brazen acts of de-industrialisation of the Nigerian economy by any state-owned enterprise.

NNPC, the one-time corporation, now a Limited Liability Company, had three petrochemical plants, each in Warri, Port Harcourt, and Kaduna. The one in Port Harcourt was built as a stand-alone from the refinery. The Warri and Kaduna Petrochemical plants are located inside the refineries.

Nigeria took the bold step to privatize the Port Harcourt Petrochemical plant, named Eleme Petrochemicals. It has been so successful that the 10% equity of it that is owned by the Rivers State Government is probably the state’s largest investment.

The petrochemical plants that remain in NNPC’s control are shabby; they have not sold a bag of petrochemicals for 30 years.

Let us go to crude oil marketing.

Every large oil producer, even lowly Angola, sells its crude oil directly on its own through its state hydrocarbon company.

NNPC is the only such state company that does not market its crude.  It has to allocate to companies who line up every year waiting for an arbitrage opportunity. Nigeria is the only place where you have to allocate crude oil to middlemen to sell.

Even Duke Oil, the NNPC’s crude marketing subsidiary, doesn’t sell directly. It markets through other entities.

The data acquisition and processing company, IDSL and the engineering firm, NETCO, each forms partnership with the competition. By using the weight of the NNPC, they get the contracts that oil companies would have awarded directly to their competition and hand over the work to the competition to do. IDSL, on its own, does not process a single kilometre of seismic data.

NPDC has been delinquent in paying taxes and royalties on most of the assets in which it is 55% or 60% joint venture partner to private producing companies. Most of these assets were assigned to them by NNPC: NNPC novated its equity in several joint ventures to NPDC, but the latter has never paid the equivalent market price for those assets.

NNPC’s Petroleum distribution is probably the most inefficient of all its operations. The petroleum product pipeline system is supposed to ensure the minimal presence of tankers on Nigerian roads. The failure of that system is the reason for some of the most fatal traffic accidents across the breadth of the country.

If NNPC is scrapped today, what will the Federation account lose?

But that’s already a stretch of the argument.

This editorial is part of the Public Service contribution of the Africa Oil+Gas Report.


Saipem Wins Drilling Contracts in Angola, Cote D’Ivoire

Italian contractor Saipem has been awarded two Ultra Deep-Water contracts offshore West Africa for drilling operations with the sixth-generation Drillship Saipem 12000.

The first contract was awarded by ENI for drilling operations offshore Cote d’Ivoire, expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2022 and extend the current activities of the rig in the area of about six months.

The second contract was awarded by Azule Energy for drilling, completion, and testing of development and exploration wells offshore Angola in Block 15/06 operated by ENI Angola S.p.A. The contract will have the duration necessary to drill and complete 12 firm wells (estimated lasting 26 months) and include the possibility of extension for an optional term”, Saipem explains. The project is scheduled to start in 2023 in continuity with the previous works of the rig in West Africa.


Zimbabwe Wildcat: Working Petroleum System Doesn’t Mean a Discovery

By John Mokwena, in Johannesburg

Australian minnow Invictus Energy has reported “fluorescence and elevated gas shows of up to 65 times above background levels” in the Upper Angwa sequence, a primary target in the Mukuyu-1 well in Zimbabwe’s Cabora Bassa Basin.

The company also reports “elevated gas shows and resistivity in shallower Pebbly Arkose formation” and has so declared that there’s a “working conventional hydrocarbon system” in the frontier Cabora Bassa Basin.

The company hasn’t declared a commercial discovery, as these mudlog interpretations are not ever any geoscientist’s basis for calling a discovery.

Invictus is going ahead to drill to a planned total depth of 3,500 metres Measured Depth.

The Mukuyu-1 well is being drilled in Invictus Energy’s 80% owned SG 4571 license.

Scott Macmillan, the company’s Managing Director, says that while “the presence of elevated mud gas readings, fluorescence in the cuttings, elevated LWD resistivity and increasing background gas with depth is a positive sign as we progress through the Upper Angwa Alternations Member”, the company still has several hundred metres of drilling “through our primary targets with additional potential, which will be followed by a comprehensive wireline logging programme to evaluate results, with the aim of confirming the presence of moveable hydrocarbons in multiple zones.”

So far, the 8½” hole section of the well has been drilled to a depth of 3,086 metres Measured Depth. Elevated mud gas peaks (up to 65 times above the background gas baseline) have been observed while drilling through a depth of 3,070 mMD with marked increases from C1 to C5 compounds (methane, ethane, propane, butanes, and pentanes).


NAPE Confab Will Focus on Energy Transition Opportunities

By Akindotun Akintomide

With the global climate crisis driving action and investment towards energy transition initiatives, the Nigerian government can promote an eco-friendly regulatory environment which offers a space for enterprises to take advantage of the growing basket of opportunities in new technologies for sustainable energy sources.

“The rising need for transition towards renewable energy; reduction in energy poverty and the global geopolitics around a just transition require strategic reappraisal of the energy industry in Nigeria”, declares James Edet, President of National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).

NAPE, an association of geoscientists primarily working in the petroleum industry and academia, is the largest grouping of technical professionals operating in the African oil patch.

Edet spoke at a media parley ahead of NAPE’s 40th Annual International Conference and Exhibition, slated for 13-17 November, 2022. He said that experts, at the talkfest, will project new ideas for pathways to newer, more climate-friendly energy for all, at the event.

NAPE boasts of over 12,000 members across Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. This year’s conference will host high level industry practitioners, key personnel in government and the academia who will deliver technical papers centered on the conference theme: ‘Global Energy Transition & the Future of the Oil and Gas Industry: Evolving Regulations, Emerging Concepts & Opportunities.’

Mele Kyari, CEO of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Roger Brown, CEO, Seplat Energy Plc. are among keynote speakers set to headline the conference.

“Nigeria has an Energy transition plan to get us to net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2060”, Edet notes, “however, there are many factors that need to be considered and appropriately addressed in the nation’s shift to its sustainable energy future.

“The reality of the climate change is facing Nigeria with desertification in the north and flooding in the south and some parts of the north. This change calls for significant reduction of carbon emissions while ensuring available and affordable electricity”.

The NAPE President says the “The oil and gas industry has a role to play towards the successful implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and the Climate Change Act, both of which have in the last one year been signed into law. “These regulations have ambitious plans.”

Edet identifies the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, global politics, in-country insecurity challenges and asset divestment as underpinning factors that have continued to impact the energy supply shortage and altered the energy landscape in no small way.

“Globally, significant consumers of the hydrocarbon industry are undergoing a massive technological shift towards low or zero carbon energy usage like electric vehicles”, he contends. “there are other contenting and increasingly relevant issues such as: energy security; the dynamics of gas development, commercialization and monetization; development of Nigeria’s under explored gas rich cretaceous basins; and how Nigeria will adapt her policies and diversify her energy portfolio in the energy transition era so as to achieve sustainable growth for her economy”.

 

 


TOTAL Can Do Better than the East African Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP)-OPINION

By Gerrard Kreeft

Will the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) ever be constructed? Public dissent has been mounting and financial hurdles have yet to be resolved. Continued delays only make the completion of this on-going saga more uncertain.

The Project

EACOP is being constructed in parallel with the Tilgenga and Kingfisher upstream development projects. Tilenga, operated by TOTALEnergies, will produce some 200,000 Barrels of Oil per Day (BOPD) and Kingfisher, operated by CNOOC(China National Offshore Oil Corporation) will produce some 40,000BOPD.  Each development will consist of a Central Processing Facility (CPF) to separate and treat the oil, water and gas produced by the wells.  Kingfisher will have 4 well pads and a CPF and  Tilenga has 31 well pads. The Ugandan Refinery project has a right of first call to 60,000BOPD, with the remainder of the oil being exported via EACOP.

EACOP will have a length of 1,443 kilometres  and export crude oil from Kabaale – Hoima in Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga port in Tanzania.  At peak capacity it will handle 246,000BOPD.

The project dates its origins back to 2004 when Tullow Oil gained three exploration blocks following its acquisition of Energy Africa. In April 2020 Tullow sold all of its oil assets to TOTALEnergies for $575Million in order to reduce its debt and strengthen its balance sheet. TOTALEnergies’ vision was simple: purchasing Tullow Oil assets for next-to- nothing made it a no-brainer to move on to developing Tilenga and together with CNOOC, Kingfisher and EACOP.

The Next Hurdle

Time and events on the ground have proven difficult.

For example, the European Parliament’s resolution of September 2022, condemning human rights in Uganda and Tanzania, linked to investments in fossil fuel projects, have proven embarrassing to the French oil giant.

French President Macron has also indicated that France does not support this project.

Various interest groups have been extremely vocal and successful in their stand against the project:

The Climate Accountability Institute(CAI) have charged that during the 25-year lifespan of the project associated  oil emissions would be more than double those of Uganda and Tanzania in 2020.

Omar Elmawi, coordinator of the Stop EACOP campaign, said: “EACOP and the associated oilfields in Uganda are a climate bomb that is being camouflaged us as an economic enabler to Uganda and Tanzania. It is for the benefit of people, nature and climate to stop this project.”

Stop EACOP Campaigners argue that, as the world’s longest heated oil pipeline which will run through many populated areas, it will contribute to poor social outcomes for those displaced. They also mention the significant risk to nature and biodiversity, as the pipeline runs through large areas of savannah, zones of high biodiversity value, mangroves, coastal waters, and protected areas, before arriving at the coast where an oil spill could be dire.

According to Elmawi, TOTALEnergies is still in search of $3Billion in order to complete the financing of EACOP. To date, he says, 24 banks, 18 insurance companies, and export credit agencies in France, Germany, Italy and the UK have refused supporting this project. “Already the project has suffered a three year delay”, the STOP EACOP campaigner claims.

How much delay can TOTALEnergies withstand before it walks away from the project and declare the necessary impairment charges? The delay will also ensure that TOTALEnergies’ financial team will be re-evaluating their energy portfolio. Think back to the summer of 2020 when TOTALEnergies  announced a $7Billion impairment charge for two Canadian oil sands projects. This might have seemed like an innocuous move, merely an acknowledgement that the projects hadn’t worked out as planned.

Yet it opened a Pandora’s box that could change the way the industry thinks about its core business model—and point the way towards a new path to financial success in the energy sector.

While it wrote off some weak assets, it did something else: TOTALEnergies began to sketch a blueprint for how to transition an oil company into an energy company.

Patrick Pouyanné, TOTALEnergies’ chairman and chief executive, said that by 2030 the company “will grow by one-third, roughly from 3Million barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) to 4Million BOEPD, half from LNG, half from electricity, mainly from renewables.” This was the first time that any major energy company had translated its renewable energy portfolio into barrels of oil equivalent. So, at the same time that the company  slashed “proved” oil and gas from its books, it added renewable power as a new form of reserves.

TOTALEnergies’ emphasis is on ensuring that its LNG portfolio and its renewables continue to grow to ensure shareholder income. Pesky oil projects which highlight climate opposition and encourage environmental activism, both local and international, are not the type of projects which promote TOTALEnergies’ shareholder stability.

Finally, COP27, the next UN Climate Conference, to be held in November 2022 in Egypt, will no doubt also become a rallying cry for stopping EACOP. Could EACOP become an African stranded asset much like the Keystone Oil Pipeline in the USA?

 Gerard Kreeft, BA (Calvin University, Grand Rapids, USA) and MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), Energy Transition Adviser, was founder and owner of EnergyWise.  He has managed and implemented energy conferences, seminars and university master classes in Alaska, Angola, Brazil, Canada, India, Libya, Kazakhstan, Russia and throughout Europe.  Kreeft has Dutch and Canadian citizenship and resides in the Netherlands.  He writes on a regular basis for Africa Oil + Gas Report, and contributes to IEEFA(Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis). His book the 10 commandments of the Energy Transition is on sale at https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000211674846/Gerard-Kreeft-The-10-Commandments-of-the-Energy-Transition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mozambique’s first LNG cargo departs for Europe

The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced from deepwater offshore Mozambique, has departed from Coral Sul Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility.

The Italian explorer ENI, as Delegated Operator of the Coral South project on the Coral South Field in Area 4 in the deepwater Rovuma basin, describes the event “as a new and significant step forward in ENI’s strategy to leverage gas as a source that can contribute in a significant way to Europe’s energy security, also through the increasing diversification of supplies, while also supporting a just and sustainable transition”.

Area 4 is operated by Mozambique Rovuma Venture S.p.A. (MRV), an incorporated joint venture owned by ENI, ExxonMobil and CNPC, which holds a 70% interest in the Area 4 exploration and production concession contract. In addition to MRV, the other shareholders in Area 4 are Galp, KOGAS and ENH, each with a 10% participation interest. ENI is the Delegated Operator for the Coral South project and all Upstream activities in Area 4.

The first commercial discoveries of gas in Area 4 were made by ENI in 2021, months after Anadarko “opened” the Rovuma basin with discoveries in Area 1. The announced shipment indicates it has taken 12 years for the discoveries in Rovuma to reach the market.

“Coral South is a landmark project for the industry and firmly places Mozambique onto the global LNG stage”, ENI says. “The project, sanctioned in 2017, comes on stream after just 5 years, in line with the initial budget and schedule, despite the disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic”, ENI says.

 


PETAN rolls out full programme of SAIPEC 2023 features and B2B opportunities

The Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) has detailed the full programme of activities for the 7th edition of the Sub Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC 2023), featuring a host of B2B networking and partnership opportunities, spread across five days.

Beginning on 13th February and preceding the main conference, discussions will open up at the African Content Series seminar, hosted by NCDMB and PETAN. Attended by a select number of NOCs, regulators, governments and private sector representatives, it will showcase local content best practices and provide an overview of Africa’s hydrocarbon resource base and the factors that lead to the introduction of local content in the oil and gas industry.

The main conference programme will begin on 14th February over three days, placing its emphasis on the future of the energy, oil, and gas industry in Sub Saharan Africa with local content and regional collaboration continuing at the nucleus of the conversations.

Mr. Chinedu Maduakoh, Managing Director of Topline Limited and SAIPEC Conference Chairman explained; “Industry stakeholders should expect richer insights from our experienced national, regional and international industry leaders and partners at SAIPEC 2023.

“It is well established as a pragmatic platform for international collaborations, which has aided the delivery of greater insight and intelligence on strategies to power the African market for the future using the African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA Agreement to bring together regional capabilities.”

He added; “Asides from the topical debates and business, technical and special focus sessions, SAIPEC’s African Content Series (day two) will address the successful implementation of Local Content and opportunities across a series of discussions with heads of NOCs, IOCs, and independent and indigenous oil and gas companies.”

Other areas of the conference programme will cover country specific showcases, the energy transition, diversity, equality and inclusivity – through SAIPEC’s Women in Industry programme and youth empowerment.

The free to attend SAIPEC exhibition will be open from 14 – 16 February, featuring a record number of exhibitors that span various companies specialising in services across the energy, oil and gas value chain.

Finally, a plethora of networking opportunities underpins the main conference and exhibition proceedings including the SAIPEC Awards, a Valentines Ball, drinks receptions and PETAN’S golf day as the concluding event on 17 February.

A full overview of the programme is now available to download via the SAIPEC website https://saipec-event.com/programme .

– ends –

Notes to Editors

About the Sub Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference

SAIPEC is hosted by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), a leading organisation that represents oilfield services and technology companies operating across upstream through to downstream projects. PETAN is a leader in the promotion of innovative engineering and creative solutions, that help advance the petroleum industry both nationally and regionally.

Year on year, SAIPEC continues to address the needs of companies seeking to showcase their innovative solutions and new technologies, and to support the development of major new business and partnerships to benefit Sub Saharan Africa’s petroleum economy.

 For more information on the Sub Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference or to register to attend as press, please contact:

Aimee Thompsett, GEP

e: athompsett@gep-events.com

t: +44 7904 060927

 Ellen Ishirima, PETAN
e: ellen.ishirima@petan.org
t: +234 803 313 5257

 

 

 


ACWA Power Targets Building a 10GW Wind Farm in Egypt

Saudi renewable energy developer ACWA Power will build a 10,000MW (10GW) wind farm in Egypt.

The company signed an MoU with the North African country’s New and Renewable Energy Authority and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company on November 1, 2022.

The first phase of the project will have a capacity of 1.1GW and cost up to a 1.1Billion. Construction will begin at the beginning of 2023 and take two years to complete.

ACWA has one of the 10 largest portfolios of renewable energy projects on the African continent and has, recently been signing MoUs to develop future energy solutions in focused African countries.

It particularly has an affinity for Egypt, South Africa, and Morocco.

Mohamed Shaker, the Egyptian Minister of Electricity has, in Riyadh for most of the week of October 31, 2022, been meeting with five other Saudi firms over more than $3billion worth of renewable energy projects. The companies include FAS Energy and Al Fanar. Mr. Shaker is also reportedly meeting with Saudi financing institutions to help drum up financing for the projects.


Support for Fossil Fuels by G-20 Nations at Highest Level Since 2014

By BloombergNEF

The 19 individual country members of the G-20 (the world’s richest countries) provided $693Billion in fossil-fuel support in 2021, thereby slowing down progress on reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement, according to a new report released by Bloomberg Philanthropies and BloombergNEF (BNEF). This quite substantial sum distorted prices, encouraged potentially wasteful use and production of fossil fuels, and resulted in investment in long-lived, emission-intensive equipment and infrastructure.

The Climate Policy Factbook evaluates the progress made by each G-20 nation in three concrete policy areas: 1) phasing out support for fossil fuels, 2) putting a price on emissions, and 3) enforcing climate-risk disclosure. The report aims to increase transparency and inform policy priorities ahead of the G-20 Summit in Indonesia and COP27 climate conference in Egypt, where much of the discussion will focus on how to realize the many pledges and targets announced at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021.

“Governments continue to subsidize fossil fuels – undermining the pledges they’ve made, harming public health, and shrinking our chances of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change”, says Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies.  “We need to dramatically speed up the shift to clean energy and away from coal and other fossil fuels, and this report highlights some of the most important steps governments can take.”

The share of G-20 fossil-fuel support allocated to coal is slowly shrinking – from 4.1% in 2016, to 2.9% in 2021. But coal still attracted a total of $20Billion of government support in 2021. This is surprising given that much of the effort to phase out fossil-fuel support has focused on coal, including pledges announced at recent G-20 summits and COP26.

While 2021 estimates are provisional, they suggest fossil support spending surged 16%. This spike was not simply due to economic recovery and higher energy use as 2021’s total was 5% higher than 2016, a year in which energy use was approximately level. In fact, the 2021 increase was driven by a 16% increase in support to fossil-fuel producers and utilities.

“The G-20 and G-7 governments have announced a range of seemingly more ambitious commitments to phase out fossil-fuel subsidies,” said Victoria Cuming, head of global policy at BloombergNEF and lead author of the factbook. “But they always seem to include imprecise language and caveats, giving governments wiggle room to interpret these pledges as they wish. BNEF’s analysis shows that there seems to be little evidence of those countries delivering on their promises.”

At the national level, China may have accounted for the largest share (26%) of G-20 fossil-fuel support in 2020 (the latest year for which country-level data is available). But it is well below other G-20 members on a per-capita basis – at $111 in 2020 compared with, for example, Saudi Arabia ($1,433), Argentina ($734) and Canada ($512). It also scaled back this support by 12% over 2016-20, while Canada more than doubled fossil-fuel support over that period. The US has the lowest per-capita total out of the G-20 (at $34 in 2020) but provided 57% more of such subsidies in 2020 relative to 2016.

To effectively lead the phaseout of coal and other fossil fuels, G-20 countries must introduce a meaningful carbon price, so that companies and consumers pay for their greenhouse-gas emissions. In total, 12 member countries of G-20 have nationwide carbon pricing. Europe and Canada remain G-20 leaders for robust carbon policies. In particular, prices are close to or far above the level needed to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The World Bank estimates this range to be $40-80 per metric ton by 2020 and $50-100 by 2030. The other G-20 countries with nationwide schemes have an average carbon price of $8/ton and the US, which has several state-level programs, has an average price of $9/ton. Most of these programs are less effective as they cover such a small share of national emissions or offer concessions that are too generous to participants.

The third priority area is to enforce climate-risk disclosure by companies and financial institutions. Policymakers are more loudly than ever voicing concern that climate change poses major risks to financial stability. However, out of the G-20 countries, only the EU and UK have passed laws or regulations to mandate specific, nationwide climate-risk disclosure for investors, while the US has issued a proposal to take this step. Instead, most G-20 governments have only gone as far as launching pilot projects and issuing voluntary guidance documents. These may mark a change in rhetoric and help improve financial market participants’ capabilities without being too disruptive for current market practices. But this type of voluntary approach allows institutions to delay action. ​

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