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Earth Finds

Speke Resort Offers Discounts On Accommodation Ahead Of Goat Races

Speke Resort & Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, the hosts of the 2019 edition of The Royal Ascot Goat Races on Saturday, 12th October, 2019, have announced that they are offering discounts on all accommodation facilities.

 Ajit Singh, the Rooms Division Manager for the hotels, said this has been done to enable their customers to enjoy the goat races without worrying where they will spend the night after the fun filled day of goats racing.

On that day, accommodation has been discounted to $149 for Deluxe rooms, $201 for Superior Rooms, $201 for Executive Rooms, $400 for Executive Suites, $445 Presidential Cottages and $573 Presidential Suites.

Singh has encouraged customers intending to attend this year’s goat races to make use of this offer because when a customer books for any of the rooms also gets a VIP ticket to the Goat Races.

The Royal Ascot Goat Races, the most admired and exciting social event of Uganda, promises to recreate one of the most eagerly awaited weekends of merrymaking and extravagant fashion, which were the hallmarks of the Goat Races for years.

Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia of Ruparelia Group who are organizing the event said the goat races is a great function for charity purposes. And in that spirit, proceeds from this year’s event will be used to undertake an Eco Brick CSR project to build toilets aimed at improving sanitation at the Good Samaritan High School in Kamwokya.

This year’s other sponsors of the event include 88.2 Sanyu FM, Goldstar Insurance, Speke Resort Munyonyo, Robbialac and NTV.

The goat races will entail eight races over the course of the day, with each race featuring eight goats. Anyone can sponsor a race, or buy a goat to participate in a race. The proceeds generated from the races will then go to a selected charity.

Races go for anything between Shs6m and Shs10m while goats go for between Shs500,000 and Shs1m. Already, Gold Star, Euroflex and Orient Bank have already acquired goats of their own.

Key Oil & Gas Territories To Make Big Announcements At Africa Oil Week

As ever, Africa Oil Week will be the place for major national roadshows in the oil & gas sphere. 30 ministries are taking part this year, with over 20 presenting.

This is the best chance to get insider knowledge on key opportunities, legislation changes, bidding rounds and more – direct from the companies and government intimately involved in leading them.

Here are some highlights of the National Roadshows and Bidding Rounds happening this year.

National Roadshows at Africa Oil Week 2019

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone will be announcing details of a new bidding round at Africa Oil Week 2019.

Led by the Minister of Mineral Resources Hon. Foday Rado Yokie and Timothy Kabba, Director General of the Petroleum Commission of Sierra Leone, and supported by Jonathan Copus, CEO of Getech, the nation's delegation will be announcing the opening of a fresh round of exploration rights.

Only eight wells have been drilled there since 1982, with the latest coming from Lukoil in 2013, following three wells drilled by Anadarko (now Occidental) in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Cameroon

The world of African oil & gas legislation requires closer scrutiny as new changes emerge. Cameroon is one nation that has recently made changes to its Petroleum Code.

Jean-Jacques KOUM, Advisor for SNH will present on how these changes will provide greater scope for operators, investors and the wider finance community to find new ground in Cameroon.

One of the key changes is tax holiday for oil and condensate development, and a further seven years for gas development. What's more, production sharing contracts (PSCs), can be modified to allow companies to recuperate "exploration expenses" from production based on Cameroonian on or offshore acreages.

Somalia

The Horn of Africa is open for business. Somalia's Petroleum Law and Revenue Sharing Agreement entered force in May 2019. The nation also unveiled its inaugural offshore licensing round.

Keynote speaker Hon. Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, Somali Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, will lay out the future of Somali oil & gas for an international audience of financiers and operators this November.

"This year is a landmark year in the development of Somalia's natural resources," Minister Ahmed said. "The Ministry has worked successfully with the federal member states to create and equitable and transparent framework to develop natural resources for the greater good of Somalia."

Nigeria

No continental hydrocarbons summit would be complete without representatives from Africa's largest oil producer. Hon. Timipre Marlin Sylva and Melee Kolo Kyari, GMD, NNPC will be leading the Nigerian delegation, and Bala Wunti, Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy, NNPC, is on hand to give the latest updates and opportunities from Nigeria.

Nigeria continues to attract significant international attention. According to the NNPC, China is emerging as one of its key partners. Data from the NOC reveals that Chinese investments in Nigeria's oil sector have reached $16bn.

Even so, the nation is aiming at 70% indigenous participation in oil & gas projects by 2027, so there's a lot of interest in how Nigeria's hydrocarbons sector will develop in the coming years.

Mozambique

Mozambique represents 23% of all future African capEx, making it the second largest recipient of investment anywhere in the continent going forward. In particular, natural gas projects are set to receive a major boost – up to a potential $50bn in capital expenditure.

Following on the from the success of significant large-scale projects like Anadarko's $20bn Mozambique LNG project, players from across the globe are turning towards Mozambique with great interest. A proposed $5bn EXIM bank loan to fuel further development is only making the nation more attractive for investors.

Forming part of the Africa Oil Week 2019 National Roadshow programme is a look at Mozambique and the promise it holds for international players. Two of the key individuals helping transform Mozambique's oil & gas industry into something truly world class are speaking at Africa Oil Week this year.

Chairman of the INP, the National Petroleum Institute, Carlos Zacharias will be there to discuss his country's ongoing development, alongside NOC ENH's CEO Omar Mithá.

 

Media Contact:
Joanna Kotyrba
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Africa Oil Week: At the heart of African Oil & Gas
For over 25 years, Africa Oil Week (www.Africa-OilWeek.com) has been the meeting place for Africa's most senior E&P stakeholders.

It attracts the entire value chain, including Governments, NOCs, international oil companies, independents, investors and service providers. They come to set out the future direction of the continent's upstream oil and gas sector, secure major deals and lucrative new partnerships and take part in bidding rounds.

It is the best place to discover investment opportunities throughout one of the most promising regions on Earth for oil & gas development.

Africa Oil & Power To Launch Investment Reports For 3 African Countries

Africa Oil & Power's (AOP) Africa Energy Series (AES) investment reports are set to launch at the Africa Oil & Power conference and exhibition at the CTICC 1 in Cape Town, South Africa. All delegates attending the conference will receive a copy of the AES reports.

Providing a broad outlook on the energy sectors of South Africa, Angola, Senegal and Equatorial Guinea, the AES investment reports are a compilation of resources, articles and interviews with key industry players examining the potential and challenges in each country's petroleum industry.

The investment reports are a vital resource for investors entering or expanding their presence in the continent's energy sector. Covering both macro and micro-dynamics, the AES reports are one of the few holistic and informed resources available for an otherwise information scarce industry.

H.E. Gwede Mantashe, South Africa's Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, will launch the South Africa report on the first day of the AOP conference, followed by H.E. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cisse, Senegal's Minister of Petroleum and Energy who will present the report on Senegal, which has been endorsed by H.E Macky Sall, President of Senegal as "the official publication documenting the immense investment opportunities within our oil and gas sector and within our country."

Showcasing the country's energy industry, the AES: Angola report will be launched on the second day of the three-day conference.

Endorsing the report, the country's President H.E. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço said: "At a time when our country stands resolute in its efforts to attract investment and promote partnership in all segments of the energy value chain, it has never been more critical to showcase the vision that our country has for its petroleum and gas industry to the rest of the world,"

Adding that, "I am honored to present the Africa Energy Series: Angola 2019 report as an official publication exploring the past achievements, future endeavors and untold investment opportunities present in our ever-growing oil and gas industry."

H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea will present the AES: Equatorial Guinea 2019 report, which has been embraced by the country’s President, H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo as a means to honor the contributions of individuals, organizations, government and the private sector who have remained committed to the country’s development.

“I am delighted to present the Africa Energy Series: Equatorial Guinea 2019 report as the official publication documenting the Year Of Energy and detailing the oil and gas achievements of this country,” said President Mbasogo, while endorsing the country’s second AES investment report.

Under the theme #MakeEnergyWork, Africa Oil & Power will facilitate discussions on new technology disrupting the energy sector, the potential of renewable energy, the state of the oil and gas industry, local content development, and more.

On October 9-11, over 1000 delegates will attend AOP 2019.

The conference will be opened by keynote speakers H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal; Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa, H.E. Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, and NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

At the exclusive gala dinner, AOP will present the Big Five Energy awards. The recipients of the 2018 Big Five Energy Awards are:

  • Nelisiwe Magubane, Chairman, Matleng Energy Solutions
  • Power Africa Increasing Electricity Access
  • Gas Mega Hub Equatorial Guinea
  • Standard Bank Mozambique LNG FID
  • Adewale Fayemi, Managing Director, Total E&P South Africa

Equatorial Guinea's Bioko Island Malaria Elimination Program will receive the Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award. Senegal's President Macky Sall will be honored with the Africa Oil Man of the Year award.

Unrealized Oil Promise Of Democratic Republic Of Congo

By NJ Ayuk

It is no secret that the DRC's mining industry is of vital importance in answering the country's and the world's mineral needs. Today, copper, cobalt and other byproducts represent the backbone of the DRC's economic structure at about 85% of its exports.

That has been the case for many years, through several regimes, with little change. Besides metals, diamonds and oil represent the remaining of all that the DRC sends abroad, the vast majority of its outbound trade balance being composed of raw unprocessed goods.

Standing in the 12th position amongst African oil producers, the DRC's petroleum industry is miniscule at best, producing an average of 25 thousand barrels of crude oil per day off its coastal ageing fields. But that seems rather odd.

While there is not much talk about this particular fact, when we think of it, it is somewhat perplexing that the DRC, which is bordered by so many oil producers and has territorial waters in the prolific Gulf of Guinea, has never really developed an oil industry or even seemed to be interested in developing one, despite its prospective reserves.

With a population of around 80 million people, of which around 75%, most statistics indicate, live in extreme poverty, the DRC is today amongst the five poorest countries in the world. 

One would expect that the country's leaders would strongly push for the exploration of the country's natural resources to produce wealth and provide for better living conditions for its citizens.

Yet, the DRC's oil and gas reserves remain largely unexplored, while most studies estimate that there could be around 20 billion barrels of undiscovered oil in the country's basins, both onshore and offshore.

That is a tremendous amount of oil which, if confirmed, would place the DRC as the second biggest petroleum holder in Sub-Saharan Africa, behind only Nigeria, and far outdoing Angola's reserves of 9 billion barrels of oil.

This is not the Africa we want, and this is not the DRC that we want.

First of all, keeping certain communities in poverty to retain power is a complete mistake. Power stability comes from generalized improvement of life conditions. If the country is wealthier and is capable of improving the lives of those that live in it, the more stable it will be and the more capable it will become of sustaining and giving continuity to that development.

Further, as I have extensively defended over the years, the sanctity of contracts is of paramount importance to attract investment and partnerships into any country. What company would want to invest in a country where a contract can be signed and then cancelled a few months later without further explanation or justification?

And it is not just a matter of reputation, but of direct financial burden, lest not forget that just in March this year, an international court ordered the Democratic Republic of Congo to pay South African DIG Oil Ltd USD$617 million for failing to honour two oil contracts.

That is 1.6% of the country's 2017 GDP. How can any leader possibly justify such a loss to its economy. Not to, again, mention the enormous economic potential that could come from actually letting those contracts take shape and allow companies to explore the country's oil regions.

Stability depends on investment, cooperation and development. To attract investment, conditions need to be created for the business environment to be enabling for industry development. Disrespecting contracts does not achieve that. Nor does keeping people from producing wealth.

Just in May, French super-major Total abandoned its exploration license in the DRC. Bloomberg's article on the matter was titled "Congo's Lone Oil Giant Quits Search, Partner Says". That's right, it was the last major oil and gas company to abandon the DRC's oil plays. Others had been there over the years, Shell and Texaco for instance.

About 10 years ago, Tullow Oil and partners tried to acquire a license for exploration, signed a contract, paid the bonuses, and saw the contract then cancelled and the same block then sold to yet another company just a few months later. Nothing has been done in the acreage since.

This is the absolute opposite of what must be done.

Oil and gas production can bring enormous wealth to the country and its people, not to mention the ability the country's gas reserves could have to produce electricity to power homes and industry.

Since January 2019, the DRC is led by a new government. It now has the opportunity to change the status quo of the DRC within the global oil industry and to promote investment. The country's oil and gas laws are fairly well developed and the potential for discoveries is huge; the problem is reputation.

If the country's leaders can reassure international investors that their contracts will be respected and if investments can be facilitated and transactions made transparent, there is little limit to how quickly the country's industry could grow and how much its people could benefit. Better living conditions across the country would ease ethnic and social tensions and provide the basis for a level of socio-economic development that the country has never seen before.

If the dependency on the volatile prices of mineral commodities continues, as well as the uneven distribution of wealth, and if the generalized situation of extreme poverty is sustained amongst the population, instability, rather than stability, will be the end result.

Further, the DRC has the opportunity to seek the help and support of international institutions and partners in developing its oil industry, such as the World Bank, the IMF or the Norwegian government, which have vast experience in helping other African oil producers. They can also seek closer proximity with the US, where most of the major companies with the capability, technology and capital to help develop their industry reside. 

The US government also has an interest in promoting these developments in the DRC, as maintaining stability in the sub-continent and the Central African region is of particular strategic importance for US interests. 

It is astonishing to me that the leaders in Kinshasa are not willing to look from their windows just across the Congo river to Brazzaville and want to emulate the steps taken by their neighbour, the Republic of Congo, currently the third biggest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Finally, good signs are coming from the current administration. In April, at the latest Africa Petroleum Producers Association's Conference in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, the DRC's oil minister announced the country would put 38 blocks on offer for bidding and negotiation, located in three different basins.

This is an important step in order to call out investor attention to the country, and I applaud the initiative. Hopefully the regime change, the country's adherence to the EITI, and the new block offer will help bring investment, but more will have to be done to reassure investors that entering this market will be a profitable and safe bet, and that their interests and rights are protected by the law.

I hope to see these developments happening soon and to be a witness to the fulfillment of the DRC's oil industry's full potential.

NJ Ayuk is the CEO of Centurion Law Group

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