Sub-Saharan Africa: Month in Brief

With an evolving regulatory environment amidst turbulent commodity prices, creating value from the region's resources requires in-depth analysis of the trends.

Sub-Saharan Africa has attracted significant upstream investment over the last decade and its basins are world-class exploration hotspots. Understanding the key issues in this changing region will help identify opportunities and risks. Get the latest updates and expert opinion on:

  • Corporate M&A activity
  • Production and development
  • Fiscal and regulatory
  • Politics 

ReportSub-Saharan Africa month in brief: April

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Lead story: the rebirth of the West African Transform Margin.
The month saw a flurry of corporate manoeuvring in the Mauritania-Senegal-Gambia-Bissau-Conakry (MSGBC) basin. The activity comes on the back of the world-class Cretaceous deepwater oil and gas discoveries by Kosmos and Cairn. In the most notable deal, BP has acquired Timis Corp’s 30% stakes in two offshore Senegalese blocks - Cayar Profond, which contains the Teranga gas discovery, and Saint-Louis Profond, which contains the Senegalese portion of the 15 tcf Tortue field.

We teamed up with CGG Robertson using our EV2 tool to examine prospectivity by block across the MSGBC basin.

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Angola’s production is set to fall from 2019 due to a lack of investment. Fiscal changes to encourage development have missed the mark, and are likely to be reviewed. Sonangol's restructuring is ongoing, and the NOC’ s slower decision-making and approval process has further stalled activity. For life to be breathed into Angola's upstream industry, a smooth political transition in elections in August is required, along with clarity on revised fiscal terms and a fully functioning and lean Sonangol.

Research Analyst Charlie Brown recently returned from a research trip to Angola, where he discusses his key findings in this short video:



ReportSub-Saharan Africa month in brief: March

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Lead story
: M&A takes centre stage in Gabon as Perenco acquires mature assets in Gabon from Total for US$350 million. Jean-Baptiste Bouzard, West Africa Research Analyst, shares his thoughts on this recent development from the fields of Gabon:



ReportSub-Saharan Africa month in brief: November

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Lead story
: ExxonMobil announces giant deepwater find in Nigeria. Owowo-3 encountered 140 metres of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and 500 million – 1 billion barrels are estimated as recoverable reserves. But with 10 years or more often required from discovery to first oil in Nigeria, Owowo would be the first deepwater field to test Nigeria's tougher 2005 PSC terms.

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Corporate: Chad fines ExxonMobil-led consortium US$75 billion. Although the PSC exempts them from an export levy, the Finance Ministry filed charges claiming US$816 million in unpaid fees.

Fiscal: Congo's Petroleum Code finally ratified by Parliament reasserts the state's dominance in the upstream sector. Local content provisions are strengthened as domestic companies are now entitled to a minimum of 15% equity in new licences.

Political: Kachikwu unveils his roadmap for the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources presented short and long-term objectives for the administration for 2015-2019.

Production: Nigeria's oil production stages a recovery following the return of exports from Forcados and Nigeria's biggest export terminal Qua Iboe.

Development: The Armada Olombendo FPSO is ready for Eni's Eastern Hub; Total’s FSRU to address gas shortage in Cote d’Ivoire; Momentum builds for Uganda's Lake Albert oil development.

Exploration: Anadarko completed a successful drilling campaign offshore Cote d’Ivoire; ExxonMobil prepares to drill in deepwater Liberia; Africa Energy takes operatorship of Block 2B offshore South Africa.

In the news

In the news
Bloomberg: African Oil Explorers Poised for Comeback After Drilling Low

In the news
Business Day: Oil majors expected to cut their spending in sub-Saharan Africa

In the news
Engineering News: Oil, gas activity in sub-Saharan Africa nosedives 

ReportSub-Saharan Africa month in brief: October

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Lead story
: NNPC assets for sale? With the Naira hitting lows of N500/Dollar on the parallel market amidst an ongoing currency shortage, Buhari's administration is considering selling assets. NNPC has stated its intention to end cash-call funding of its JV interests with the IOCs and plans to establish Incorporated JVs (IJV) instead.

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Politics: Militant ceasefire collapses, Mozambique attempts to restore investor confidence and it was a fragile start for Ali Bongo's second term. Trouble in the DRC over a missed deadline for new elections left 50 people dead.

Exploration: Shell to start drilling campaign offshore Tanzania and The Zanzibar Oil and Gas (Upstream) Act, 2016 is close to being approved

Development: New Age is pressing forwards with a new FLNG project on Etinde in Cameroon; Angola LNG resumes output

ReportSub-Saharan Africa month in brief: September

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Lead story: Gabon presidential election crisis points to longer-term malaise. The re-election of incumbent, Ali Bongo, has led to widespread violence in the capital Libreville, as well as the oil-hub Port Gentil. The Sogara refinery, which is in Port Gentil and the country's only refinery, has been shut since the violence started.

Corporate and M&A: FAR refutes validity of ConocoPhillips Senegal deal with Woodside; Hyperdynamics, Tullow and Dana reach Guinea resolution.

Fiscal: Ghana introduces new Petroleum Bill

Politics: Ceasefire in the Niger Delta takes effect.

Production: Tullow starts oil production from the TEN project in Ghana while Mauritania’s Chinguetti field will cease production at the end of 2016.

Development: Uganda clears path to first oil in East Africa

Exploration: Uganda licensing disappoints and attracts four juniors.

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Hear the latest news direct from our analysts

Gail Anderson
Militancy exposes flaws in Nigeria’s dated gas master plan 
Gail Anderson, Research Director for Sub-Saharn Africa, comments on the latest in a string of attacks in Nigeria and the resulting affect on the gas and power industry. 


Charlie Brown
Gas projects a ray of light amid oil price doom
Charlie Brown, Research Analyst, sheds light on the 45% drop in oil production by 2030.


Podcast: Oil about Africa, Nigeria's militancy crisis

Podcast: Oil about Africa, Senegal M&A

Podcast: Oil about Africa, Tullow's TEN project

Read more

Gabon: Bongo retains power - Is President Ali Bongo well-placed to retain power or has the unprecedented wave of violent protests in the aftermath of highly controversial elections shaken his hold? Find out more about the above-ground risks and opportunities in the region.

Perfect TEN for Tullow in Ghana – Tullow's second development in Ghana is delivered on time and within budget. Find out what this means for the country's production outlook and the companies.