Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Nigeria central bank head ousted; missing oil money an issue

President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday sacked the central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, a move critics say is a warning to whistleblowers in the run-up to presidential elections in Africa’s biggest oil producer.

Jonathan accused Lamido Sanusi of “financial recklessness and misconduct” and suspended him four months before his term was to end in June.

Sanusi had recently told a senate committee that out of $67 billion of oil sold between January 2012 and July 2013, $20 billion had not been accounted for by the state-owned NNPC.

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Oil-rich South Sudan teeters on the brink

South Sudan this week saw heavy fighting with as many as 500 killed or wounded, as army factions clashed in the capital following months of political tension in the oil-rich nation after the president dismissed his deputy.

President Salva Kiir, clad in military fatigues rather than his signature cowboy hat and trademark black suit, said the army had foiled a coup attempt by a group of soldiers loyal to the former vice president, Riek Machar.

Kiir and Machar were key figures in the ranks of the rebel South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, which fought a 21-year civil war against the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

But since his dismissal in July, Machar has been leading a faction against Kiir’s ruling party, and has also announced he will run for presidency in the 2015 elections.

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Nigeria: Drums of war again in the oil region of the Niger Delta

Fresh tension is now brewing in southern Nigeria following a spate of threats by the MEND militant group, amid fears the fighters have returned to the mangrove-choked creeks of the oil-rich Niger Delta.

After a period of relative calm, spiked only by sporadic incidents, the group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the explosion that rocked the Warri oil refinery. It said the attack was part of a new campaign against the federal government’s “unsustainable and fraudulent” amnesty program.

It comes days after the group threatened Shell’s giant offshore Bonga field. “Offshore operations are not a safe haven. MEND has visited Bonga before and we will do it again when the time is right,” it said.

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Africa’s energy kingmakers ponder this question: to refine its oil, or not to refine?

The news that Africa’s richest man is to finance the construction of a new refinery in Nigeria comes as Africa’s energy decision makers grapple with the conundrum: to refine, or not to refine. Read the rest of this entry »

Kenya, with good oil prospects, faces tightly contested election as vote counting continues

The elections in Kenya this week brought millions of voters despite pockets of violence that killed at least 15 people and rumblings of problems with electronic systems being used in the polls for the first time.

Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of the nation’s founding father, took an early lead Wednesday and nearly half of the votes over his main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

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What happens in Mali does not stay in Mali

I receive more than a fair share of e-mails every week from scam artists, most of them purporting to be from some African state, offering me millions of dollars in return for my bank details. (Memo to techies: spam filters not working).

The last such communication came as a bit of a surprise. It was from Mali, a country that is a blind spot for much of the world focused on turmoil in more recognizable countries like Egypt and Syria. Until recently that is, when this West African state leapt into the headlines.

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More mergers, acquisitions coming to East Africa in 2013

It was an incredible year for East Africa where significant gas discoveries catapulted the region into a major energy player, bringing billions of dollars in investment that could transform entire economies.

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New Frontiers: the buzz about oil in Morocco

The list of African countries that have discovered big new reserves in recent years is impressive, led by the giant natural gas finds of Mozambique. Another country that thinks it can at least become a more significant producer, if not necessarily a behemoth, is Morocco. In this week’s Oilgram News column “New Frontiers,” Tamsin Carlisle talks about the recent buzz about Morocco at a key industry gathering.

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Non-passage of oil bill threatens Nigeria’s oil sector

Nigeria’s long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill is set to finally see the light as it moves its way through to Parliament, but its delay has taken a toll on the nation’s economy.

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The oil industry’s lure of the deep (waters)

If you thought 2008 was a heyday for deepwater drilling, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

At least that’s the message suggested by the first two drillers, Noble Corporation and Diamond Offshore, that reported second-quarter earnings this week. While earnings were healthy, it was the commentary by the drillers’ managers that made Wall Street sit up and take notice. 

Both companies say they expect the global ultra-deepwater segment to carry the ball for them going forward. And that “forward” looks pretty darn good.

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