We are in a race with time to unlock Africa's full potential – Akinwumi Adesina

2019 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate Akinwumi Adesina has pledged to do more to advance Africa's fight against hunger, poverty and youth underemployment.

The President of the African Development Bank, and co-Laureate Waris Dirie, a global champion against Female Genital Mutilation, shared the prestigious US $1million dollar prize at an award ceremony held on 9 February 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.

According to Adesina, "We are in a race with time to unlock the full potential of Africa." Known globally for his dogged determination to reduce global poverty, Adesina declared "My life is only useful to the extent that it helps to lift millions of people out of poverty."

Adesina immediately announced he was donating his $500,000 share of the prize to fighting hunger in Africa.

"There is tremendous suffering going on in the world. While progress is being made, we are not winning the war on global hunger. There cannot be peace in a world that is hungry. Hunger persists in regions and places going through conflicts, wars and fragility. Those who suffer the most are women and children," Adesina said during the award ceremony.

Waris Dirie, has played a leading role in drawling global attention to the fight and against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and the need for legislation to ban the practice.

Dirie said, "Female Genital Mutilation scars victims physically, emotionally, and mentally."

The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is carried out on young girls between infancy and the age 15. 

Adesina who believes a peaceful world will be a food secure world, pointed out that only 1% of the world's richest own 50% of global wealth.

"Nothing is more important than ensuring that we feed the world and eliminate hunger and malnutrition. Hunger is an indictment on the human race. Any economy that claims growth without feeding its people is a failed economy. Nobody has to go hungry, white, black, pink, orange or any colour you can think."

The President of the African Development Bank told participants including global leaders:

"There must be accountability to the poor. We must reduce global income inequality. We need wealth, yes, but we need wealth for everyone not just a few. Today, the poor are stuck and only end up eating crumbs, if any at all, that fall from the tables of the rich.

This sense of exclusion and lack of equity or fairness often drives conflicts. We have an opportunity to reverse the situation through sustainable agriculture as a business, and not as an aid program."

More than 1,000 influencers from over the world including current and former heads of state and government, private sector leaders, investors, and development experts, attended the SunHak Peace Prize

and the Peace Summit of Global Leaders. Each year, the SunHak Peace Prize honours  an individual or organisation making significant contributions to global peace and the welfare of mankind.

African Oil Industry Endorses Cape Vii Congress In Malabo

Calls for a pragmatic common-sense approach towards local content. Improved business climate will attract more investment and create sustainable jobs for Africans. The African Energy Chamber is proud to endorse the APPO Cape VII Congress and Exhibition to be held in Malabo on April 2-5, 2019.

Hosted by the African Petroleum Producers Organization under the Auspices of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the summit will include a first-level meeting of oil ministers from the four corners of the continent, at a time when Africa is trying to boost its energy cooperation and promote infrastructural collaboration.

Current APPO President, Nigerian Petroleum Minister Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, announced last month that the organization would mobilize up to $2bn to promote such collaboration across African oil markets.

"The oil industry is proud to support African oil nations as we desperately need to speed up our collaboration efforts and develop joint projects to maximize efficiency across the value-chain.

From transnational pipelines to shared gas development infrastructure, collaboration can play a considerable role in boosting hydrocarbons developments," declared the Chamber's Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk. "We must do everything to improve the business climate by embracing better governance, limited government's role in business activity, low taxes, and regulatory efficiency."

The Congress will also be central in promoting, and advocating for, a stronger African content throughout the value chain. APPO plans to achieve a 30 percent share of local content services provided to the African hydrocarbons industry by 2030, which requires harmonizing local content laws and regulations across oil jurisdictions.

"Local content is at the core of Africa's energy industry future. Without increased dialogue between the oil industry and governments, the regulatory frameworks needed to build local capacities cannot be properly implemented," added NJ Ayuk.

"We congratulate APPO on making such strong commitment to the African content. The oil industry is ready to share with APPO members best practices that have worked and delivered results and opportunities that improved the quality of life of everyday Africans through jobs."

The APPO Cape VII Congress & Exhibition is organized by Africa Oil & Power and is part of Equatorial Guinea's Year of Energy 2019, which will also see the organization of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum's 5th Gas Summit in Malabo next November. The African Energy Chamber is a strategic partner of the APPO Cape VII.

AfDB's Adesina Confident Of "Very Promising Future" Africa

"The future of our continent is looking very promising indeed," African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina declared in the opening words of his address to diplomats  at a lunch organised today, Tuesday, in Abidjan.

Adesina referred to the Bank's recent flagship publication, the African Economic Outlook 2019, which noted that the recovery in commodity prices is driving domestic demand and infrastructure investment, while real Africa's GDP continued to improve in 2018 to 4.1%. The Bank expects growth of 4% this year and 4.1% in 2020.

Economic opportunities in Africa are generating considerable interest globally. For example, the agreement in March 2018 establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will create the largest free trade area in the world. The CFTA will provide an unprecedented framework with the capacity to increase trade by at least 100% in Africa.

"The African Development Bank is at the centre of the actions taken to ensure the success of the continental free-trade area. We have invested over one billion dollars to support the financing of trade in Africa," Adesina said. 

The Bank, whose triple-A rating with stable outlook has been reconfirmed by the four major global rating agencies, has also invested $1 billion in Afreximbank, including $650 million in credit lines for trade finance and $350 million in insurance. 

The free movement of people on the continent is another important driver of development. "We need to break down all barriers that impede the free movement of people across the continent, especially that of workers, because this is vital for promoting investment," Adesina said.

In its report on intra-African investment, the African Development Bank emphasised the significant increase incross-border investments – $12 billion last year, up from $2 billion in 2010. Under the G20 Compact with Africa, the Bank has worked with the World Bank and the IMF to provide assistance to African countries, particularly to improve company regulations and the business environment.

"Africa will not develop through aid, but through investment", said Adesina. This is whythe African Development Bank, with its partners, launched the highly successful Africa Investment Forum (AIF) (https://AfricaInvestmentForum.com), in Johannesburg, South Africa last November, securing investment interest in 49 deals across Africa worth over $38 billion in just two days.

The African Development Bank continues to invest in infrastructure to connect countries and improve their competitiveness. It has provided $16 million to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the preparation of feasibility studies for the Lagos-Abidjan corridor. It has also funded 1000 kilometres of road between Addis Ababa and Mombasa, which has increased trade fivefold between Ethiopia and Kenya.

The Bank was the lead lender for the construction of the historic Senegambia bridge linking Gambia and Senegal, which opened on 21 January 2019. And the Bank's investment portfolio in Côte d'Ivoire has tripled in the last three years, reaching $1.8 billion in 2018. 

The Bank is taking a lead role in the "Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation" (TAAT) initiative, which seeks to accelerate the dissemination of agricultural technologies throughout the continent, not only to improve yields, but also to fight against the consequences of global warming and against pests, such as Fall Armyworm. "The crucial point for the economic development of Africa is that we have to radically transform our agriculture," Adesina declared. 

The Bank's High 5 priorities are already producing significant impacts across the continent," said the Bank's President.In 2018, 4.5 million people were connected to electrical grids.Nearly 20 million more people have access to improved agricultural technologies.Industrial investments in the private sector have benefited 1.1 million people.

Some 14 million people have gained access to improved transport services, while another 8 million people have benefited from better access to water and sanitation.These impacts encourage the Bank to redouble its support for economic and social development in Africa.

"We need to achieve universal access to electricity. We need to help Africa to become self-sufficient in food. We need to achieve a fully integrated continent. We need to industrialize Africa and improve the quality of life for its people," Adesina concluded.

African Petroleum Producers Call For Unity, Cooperation And Reforms

Speakers at APPO Cape VII Congress and Exhibition include ministers of all African oil producers and global oil and gas explorers, producers and service companies; The conference highlights regional cooperation in African energy with the theme 'Pathways to Shared Prosperity in the African Petroleum Industry'; Organized by Africa Oil & Power, APPO Cape VII takes place on April 1-5, 2019 at the Sipopo International Conference Hall in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) and its member countries call for unity, cooperation and reform amongst oil producers ahead of the Cape VII Congress and Exhibition, which will take place April 1-5, 2019 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. APPO is inviting all interested companies and organizations to participate in this important gathering of oil and gas government and private sector leaders in Africa in 2019, with ministerial speakers from all African oil producing nations. Registration for the event is now open.

"We invite the global oil and gas industry to participate in this historic conference. Cape VII is like the Olympics of African oil and gas, it's a time when the world comes together," said Mahaman Laouan Gaya, Secretary General of APPO. "Africa needs unity and synergy in all sectors of its economies to boost growth. When we unite, it is easier to collaborate."

Taking place against a backdrop of greater African involvement in energy institutions, rising investment in upstream projects, a favourable oil price environment and the recent restructuring of APPO, the conference highlights regional cooperation and promotes alliances in African energy. The theme of APPO Cape VII is 'Pathways to Shared Prosperity in the African Petroleum Industry' and is being held under the auspices of H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea.

The event also shines a spotlight on key regional energy projects and initiatives such as Equatorial Guinea's Gas Megahub, which will link domestic and cross-border gas projects; Equatorial Guinea's LNG2Africa, which is promoting intra-African gas trade; Sudan and South Sudan's cooperation on restarting oil production; licensing rounds in Nigeria, Gabon and the Republic of Congo; and key economic and investment reforms in Angola.

APPO is currently undergoing important reforms focused on creating a united African front on the global energy stage. The organization seeks to increase regional cooperation on upstream projects, infrastructure, refineries and other major projects. It also aims to attract more members as African countries make significant oil and gas discoveries, while growing their reserves.

"Regulatory and policy reforms are needed on a case-by-case basis. Countries like Ghana, Senegal and Mozambique have some of the most attractive and competitive market conditions in the world. Additionally, Africa has proven itself as a host of mega discoveries with a wealth of untapped and undiscovered potential," said H.E. Gaya.

APPO Cape VII takes place during Equatorial Guinea's Year of Energy, a series of events promoting Africa's energy potential and positioning Malabo as a continental energy center. "Equatorial Guinea has a distinguished track record as a host country for events of continental importance, and this APPO meeting will be momentous," said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, host of the conference.

Speakers at APPO Cape VII include the ministers of petroleum of Algeria, Angola, Benin, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan and Sudan. The private sector is represented by international oil companies including ExxonMobil, Shell, Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, Kosmos Energy, Trident Energy, South Africa's CEF Group, and GE Baker Hughes.

RoyalGate Energy Extends License In Equatorial Guinea

The company plans to drill in Block Z; Equatorial Guinea's block Z holds an estimated 3.6 tcf of gas; RoyalGate is also interested in Angola's marginal field licensing round.

African independent RoyalGate Energy has been granted an extension on its Block Z license in Equatorial Guinea, with plans to commence drilling as the oil price stabilizes and the market recovers.

"We are very honored that the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons continues to partner with us in our development of Block Z, and we greatly look forward to working with the government on the development of the block and using the gas resources to also further the development of the country's gas mega hub," said CEO Of RoyalGate Energy Frank Ene.

Block Z holds the existing Gardenia discovery, with an estimated 3.6 tcf of gas reserves in place and 25 million boe of condensate. Additional seismic also shows four more high potential prospects in the area: Tulip, Daisy, Buttercup and Sunflower.

The Houston-based independent is also interested in Angola's marginal fields licensing round being launched at Angola Oil & Gas 2019 in Luanda in June.

"Marginal fields provide an excellent opportunity for independents like RoyalGate Energy to thrive in competitive upstream markets like Angola" Ene said. "We are eager to potentially expand our operations in Angola." 

Dangote Reveals What Drives Investment In Refinery, Petrochemicals

The ongoing investment in refining, petrochemicals, fertilizer and gas is driven by the desire to bring innovation and efficiency into all aspects of Nigeria's oil and gas sector, the President/Chief Executive, Aliko Dangote has said.

Dangote, who made this disclosure yesterday at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, said the company is committed to the concept of energy efficiency and innovation in the oil and gas sector.

The business mogul, whose 650,000 barrels-per-day capacity refinery is the largest in Africa, was represented by the Group Executive Director, Government and Strategic Relations, Dangote Industries Limited, Engr. Ahmed Mansur.

Addressing participants at the forum, Mansur said the theme of the conference, "Shaping the Future through Efficiency and Innovation", was quite apt; given Nigeria's quest for economic transformation.

According to him, Aliko Dangote is passionate about efficiency and innovation in the oil & gas sector through adding value to the hydrocarbon process.

Mansur said the company's passion and drive is seen in the building of the project, which will become the world largest single train refinery on completion and therefore a boost to Nigeria's economy.

He stated: "The Refinery can meet 100% of the domestic requirement of all liquid petroleum products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene and Aviation Jet), leaving the surplus for export.

"This high volume of PMS output from the Dangote Refinery will transform Nigeria from a petrol import-dependent country to an exporter of refined petroleum products. The refinery is designed to accommodate multiple grades of domestic and foreign crude and process these into high-quality gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation fuels that meet Euro V emissions specifications, plus polypropylene", he said.

Mansur disclosed that Dangote is also constructing the largest fertiliser Plant in West Africa with capacity to produce 3.0 million tonnes of Urea per year as part of the gigantic economic transformation project. He explained that the Dangote Fertiliser complex consists of Ammonia and Urea plants with associated facilities and infrastructure.

"Nigeria will be able to save $0.5 billion from import substitution and provide $0.4 billion from exports of products from the fertiliser plant. Thus, supply of fertiliser from the plant, which is set for commissioning before the second quarter of 2019, will be enough for the Nigerian market and neighbouring countries," he added.

Speaking further, he said at a time when the oil and gas industry and the global economy is in a state of flux, it is most appropriate that attention should be given to the future especially given the incredible speed and quantum of change taking place in every facet of human endeavour. 

"Our economy in particular cannot afford to ignore these massive changes. Our decades of dependence on this industry for our economic well-being and the urgent need for diversification has been widely recognised and is clearly the most critical challenge for our policy makers.

"But even as we seek to diversity from oil, and we are, indeed, making observable progress in this regard, we cannot ignore the need to continue to exploit this God-given resources in a more efficient and innovative manner," he added.

He commended the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its unwavering support in Dangote's quest to make Nigeria self-sufficient in the production of petroleum products.

What Angola Can Learn From Nigeria’s Oil Production

With production declining and investment scarce, the Angolan leadership has put in place a number of new policies to reboot its oil industry and propel economic development. However, those changes take time and renewed deep-water oil and gas exploration for fresh reserves will take years to yield the desired results and stop the daily production crunch.

In the meantime, the government is targeting what it already knows exists, the country's multiple deposits of what has been dubbed marginal oil fields, which will go on sale this year during the Angolan Marginal Field Bid Round.

Marginal fields are defined by reduced profitability or lack of commercial viability. These can, at times, represent considerable amounts of crude oil in the reservoirs, but that, due to costly recovery processes, are not worth the investment under the existing legal and fiscal framework.

In the Angolan deep offshore, several of these prospects have been found over the years and dismissed in the pursuit of more profitable opportunities. However, in the wake of the lack of investment in exploration in the country over the last four years, these marginal reserves have become more relevant for Angola's macro-economic outlook.

So, in May 2018, President Lourenço's government published a new framework specifically designed to promote investment in these areas. According to the official text, the law considers marginal fields those discoveries with proven oil reserves of less than 300 million barrels (exceptions are considered for bigger reserves in particularly expensive working conditions), standing at or below 800 meters of water dept, that do not give returns to the State of more than USD$10.5 cents per barrel, returns for the operator of no more than USD$21 per barrel and that have an average return on investment after taxes of less than 15%. For those that fit these conditions, the government offers extensive tax and fiscal benefits, as well as, easier conditions for cost recovery, in order to make those reserves commercial and promote their development.

Angola is not the first to try this tactic. In 2003, Nigeria had already had a bid round for its marginal fields with a certain degree of success. The majors are not likely to be particularly attracted by these relatively small prospects, but they represent great opportunity for smaller independent African and non-African oil and gas companies that can work efficiently and with less overheads than its bigger counterparts, while having the business certainty of working prospects with guaranteed reserves.

The government is hoping that development in these marginal fields will help raise the current crude oil production (expected to be stagnant in the run up to 2022), while it promotes renewed investment in exploration and production in unexplored acreage.

The Marginal Fields Bid Round is expected to be launched in Luanda in June 2019 at the Angola Oil & Gas Conference, organized by Africa Oil and Power with the endorsement of the Angolan Government. It is likely to include onshore and offshore blocks in the Congo, Namibe and Cunene basins, and has already received considerable attention from industry players in the region.

Lessons learned

The Nigerian experience with marginal oil field development had measurable success, with 24 licenses awarded to 31 companies, some as sole operators and others as joint-ventures. The 2003 marginal field bid round opened a number of opportunities to local and regional industry players while it contributed to increase the country's oil output and promoted indigenous participation in petroleum upstream activities.

For companies like Oando, Waltersmith, Shoreline Energy, Seplat, Sahara Petroleum or Brittania-U, these fields represented important opportunities to farm-out some acreage from the majors and lead their own projects. While some developments have been slower than expected, the outcome of the process was mostly successful. Today, around a third of the licenses issued produce meaningful amounts of crude oil.

However, there are a couple of lessons to be learned from the Nigerian experience that apply to the Angolan reality. Firstly, marginal fields are particularly attractive for smaller indigenous or regional companies that can operate well with smaller profit margins. These companies are also much more cash-strapped than the likes of ExxonMobil or Total and therefore need investment capital to develop their acreage.

The Nigerian experience tells us that seeking capital in the local financial sector can be challenging. Nigerian banks have been resistant to awarding credit lines to small operators in this kind of project. Normally, banks issue loans against equity or assets used as collateral. These oil operators' attempt to use the oil reserves as collateral hasn't been well accepted by the Nigerian financiers, and that has delayed field development.

This means that inviting foreign partners with access to capital becomes paramount. Local Angolan companies are advised to seek the partnership of mid-size players like Tullow Oil, Trident, Kosmos, Noble, Perenco and many successful Nigerian oil firms, with extensive African experience and available liquidity that can help them progress and be successful in their endeavors.

Secondly, there is the issue of legal clarity. The Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill, which in its many forms has been under discussion for over two decades, continues to create disruption and uncertainty in the industry and delaying new bidding rounds. If the current form of the bill is approved, marginal field operators are expected to receive significant cuts in the taxes and royalties, but that remains unclear for the time being.

On that second note, the Angolan government's action must receive praise. In record time, a simple and clear framework was created for the marginal fields concessions. It will be important that action is also taken in finding solutions to facilitate the financing of many of these projects so that these efforts have a measurable impact on the country's oil industry.

A December 2018 article on the Nigerian newspaper The Oracle, titled "Angola pulls investment attention off Nigeria", blamed the ease of doing business and clear fiscal framework created for the marginal field bid round taking place in June as the main drivers in moving investors from the complicated dealings of Nigeria into the Angolan market, a sign of a job well done by the Lourenço administration.

In sum, Angola's journey towards revitalizing its oil industry and boosting production is already yielding positive results, with the perception of international investors already shifting towards a more positive outlook. Just in December, ExxonMobil and BP have pledged new investments in the country, while French Major Total launched its USD$16 billion Kaombo project in November and indicated further investment in the country in the near future.

These are important developments at a time when Sonangol tries to restructure and recapitalize to once again focus on exploration efforts. At the same time, the exploitation of the country's marginal fields within this new framework has the potential to, alongside steps to extend the life of declining fields, help maintain oil output as new major projects are developed.

If all continues in the direction it is now, it stands to reason that within three or four years we could again see the Angolan oil industry flourish. However, good governance and business-friendly policies coupled with clear fiscal and legal frameworks need to continue to be developed and upheld if the promise of the Angolan oil industry is truly to be fulfilled.

EnviroServ Fined R10.2m For Sabotaging Rivals

By Stephen Kasozi Muwambi 

WASTE Services Company EnviroServ Waste Management has been fined R10.2 million by the Competition Tribunal for collusion that would tantamount to sabotage and cheating of rivals.

This story concerns us given the fact that EnviroServ has a branch in Uganda doing environment management in the oil-laden Albertine Region of the western part of the country.

EnviroServ’s parent company is facing charges of abusing the environment back home in South Africa after residents complained of how their landfill at Shongwen in Durban emits a hazardous smell.

Four top guns of EnviroServ South Africa, Dean Thompson, the Group’s Technical director, Esme Gombault, the Group’s Technical director, Dr Johan Schoonraaad and Clive Kidd have since been criminally charged over the allegedly stinking landfill.

EnviroServ’s license was subsequently-- in April 2017-- revoked by the environment department in Durban leading to the closure of the landfill site. But Justice Ploos Van Amstel in mid this year rejected an application by environmental activists that sought to have the site permanently closed. But the judge said the site was to be managed by the ministry of environment in the meantime.

The R10.2m fine follows the tribunal finding that EnviroServ colluded with Wasteman Holdings, firms that competed with each other in performing waste transportation services, to set the downstream price in the market for waste transportation services.

The tribunal further found that the firms used Vissershok Waste Management Facility, their upstream landfill site joint venture, as a forum to reach agreement. It found that Vissershok would charge third-party waste transportation companies about 43 percent more to receive their waste than they charged the joint venture partners, EnviroServ and Wasteman.

This meant that third-party waste transportation firms were placed at a significant disadvantage in respect of their competitors, EnviroServ and Wasteman.

The often-acrimonious relationship between EnviroServ and Wasteman partly led to Wasteman’s decision to approach the Competition Commission in November 2012 to seek leniency for its part in the collusion.

The commission referred the complaint to the tribunal in February last year, alleging that EnviroServ and Wasteman fixed prices for waste transportation services from 1998 until November 2013.

The commission also alleged that EnviroServ and Wasteman divided markets by allocating customers between 2005 and 2012, but this complaint was dismissed by the tribunal.

EnviroServ advanced various arguments for the existence of the downstream price, including that it was functional to the joint venture, because it incentivised the firms to compete downstream.

The tribunal disagreed, stating that at all times the decision to fix the downstream price was not the behaviour of firms in a vertical relationship but rather the conduct of two firms competing directly with each other.

 

ENGIE To Fuel First Buses With Compressed Natural Gas In Cote d'Ivoire

The Ivorian Minister of Transport, Mr Amadou Koné, and several government Ministers gathered to launch a ground breaking initiative as part of the country's commitment to the Paris COP 21 agreement.

The Minister unveiled a fleet of buses commissioned by the Société des Transports Abidjanais (SOTRA), supplied by IVECO and fuelled by compressed natural gas. ENGIE and Tractebel collaborated to engineer, supply and install the first ever compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelling station in Abidjan.

The CNG fuelling station is located on SOTRA's premises in Yopougon, Abidjan, and will facilitate the operation of the new range of compressed natural gas buses. When fully commissioned, the gas fuelling station will have a compression capacity of 1360 m³/h, and will be split into two units, each equipped with two hoses, enabling four buses to charge at any one time. 

ENGIE and Tractebel have a unique level of expertise and a local presence that was vital to the success of the venture. They are specialists in delivering infrastructures which provide alternative fuels for green mobility solutions.

The Abidjan station is the first stage in the Ivorian government and public transportation companies plan to increase the number of CNG buses and ensure that the region is working towards fulfilling its commitment to the COP 21 agreement.

More importantly, it will lead the way for other African countries that are keen to further embrace clean technologies. Countries including Ghana, Togo, Benin and Cameroon are monitoring the success of the initiative with the intention of replicating the project.

As part of the deal between IVECO and the Société des Transports Abidjanais (SOTRA), 50 Crealis buses will run on compressed natural gas in Abidjan. The particle emission levels will be nearly zero, and their Nitrogen Oxide emissions will be reduced by 60 per cent. The buses will serve within Abidjan's wider urban area.

Deep Petroleum Industry Reforms Set Angola On Path To Growth In 2019

Reforms span from changes in tax law to changes in concession contracts and the opening of marginal fields to African independents. Key measures include the formation of upstream and downstream taskforces, the privatization of some Sonangol subsidiaries, and the creation of a new regulator to manage concessions. The measures are already attracting interest from investors and establishing confidence in the administration.

Angola's economy is set for recovery in 2019, in large part due to a series of regulatory reforms opening the country to new investment. 

Since entering office in 2017, President João Lourenço has focused on cleaning up corruption and implementing aggressive reforms to transform the oil and gas sector and the economy. The reforms, which span from deep changes in tax law to changes in concession contracts and the opening of marginal fields to African independents, have hit the books just as the oil price is stabilizing, and Angola is already attracting new interest from investors. 

Lourenço has made key appointments to shift the trajectory of the oil and gas sector, notably naming Diamantino Azevedo the new Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum. The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum quickly put together a task force comprised of both international and domestic stakeholders, including the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the President, Sonangol, BP, Chevron, ENI, Esso, Equinor, and Total. The task force has proposed improvements in several areas, including: simplifying the oil concessions management process; implementing incentives for investment in marginal fields; and creating a natural gas regulatory framework. 

By December 2018, several new laws have been enacted, including: 

  • The Natural Gas Regulatory Framework, which establishes policies for the monetization of natural gas (both associated and non-associated gas) in existing and new concessions; 
  • Incentives for investments, which vary from tax reforms to contract reforms, to encourage economic exploration and development of natural resources; 
  • Improved terms to better allow for exploration within development areas in existing blocks. 


Considered one of the most important changes to Angola's oil and gas sector, an independent regulator has been created to manage the country's oil and gas concessions, which were previously handled by the state-owned Sonangol. The National Oil and Gas Agency is the new granter and manager of concessions in a complete restructuring of the management of Angola's oil and gas industry. The move is designed to improve transparency, attract new investment and increase output.

The reforms have also addressed the downstream sector. The government has created a task force to focus on downstream issues, similar to the upstream task force. The taskforce teams will focus on what is needed to build a high conversion refinery in the Lobito municipality and a refinery in Cabinda. Eight companies have already been pre-selected for the Lobito refinery and seven selected for the Cabinda refinery. Angola currently imports about 80 percent of its refined petroleum products. 

The measures appear to be working — the World Bank's economic outlook for Angola released in December 2018 predicts GDP will grow by 1.7 percent in 2018 and 2.2 percent in 2019 — the first time the country will have seen positive growth since 2014. An improved investor environment is listed as a cause for the improvement. 

Mega oil and gas projects have achieved final investment decision since 2018, and several more are headed for FID in 2019 and 2020. A new licensing round is expected to attract new international explorers to the country, as well as promote the participation of Angola's domestic sector by offering incentives for marginal fields.

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