EITI Releases New Guidelines To Promote Commodity Trades Transparency

The EITI today released new reporting guidelines for companies buying oil, gas and minerals from governments. The guidelines promote a consistent approach to the disclosure of payments to states or to state-owned enterprises.

The scale and economic significance of payments for these commodities make them a matter of public interest. In-kind payments alone make up almost half of total government revenues declared through the EITI – approximately USD 1.2 trillion to date. Data from leading commodity traders shows that payments for purchases made from governments far exceed tax payments.

The guidelines can be applied by any company in relation to any jurisdiction, but are particularly relevant where oil, gas or minerals are being sold on behalf of the state in countries implementing the EITI Standard.

Together with reporting by governments undertaken in accordance with the 2019 EITI Standard, they enable stakeholders to form a more complete picture of the terms of sale of mining, oil and gas resources. Greater transparency mitigates the risks associated with such trades, which include revenue leakages, misallocation or diversion of revenues, inconsistent terms of trade, conflicts of interest, bribery, corruption and state capture.

Welcoming the guidelines, EITI Board Chair Helen Clark commented: “Commodity trades are essential to the global economy. They play an important role in the global flows of goods that underpin economic growth. These guidelines will help shed more light on the substantial commodity trades involving purchases of oil, gas and minerals from public entities.”

State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Director of the Swiss Confederation’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said: “I am delighted that SECO has been able to support the work of the EITI on commodity trading transparency. The guidelines reflect the consensus view of a wide range of stakeholders. I urge all trading companies – including those domiciled in Switzerland – to use the guidelines to build trust in a more transparent and accountable commodity trading sector.”

The EITI’s Working Group on Transparency in Commodity Trading was the driving force behind the guidelines. Participants include representatives of governments, industry, commodity traders and civil society.

The guidelines cover five key steps to data publication. These are: 1) mapping selling entities and transactions; 2) determining the data to be disclosed, including the level of aggregation of the data; 3) providing data assurances; 4) communicating disclosures to selling entities; and 5) determining the way in which data is presented and published. The guidelines also cover two special cases, namely swap sales and resource-backed loans.

The guidelines can be applied with immediate effect and are available, with supporting documentation, on the EITI website.

APICORP Posts $54.8m Net Profit In First Half Of 2020

Gross operating income at USD144.7 million and net income at USD54.8 million despite adverse global conditions; Balance sheet grew by 10% to reach USD8.1 billion; APICORP launched a USD500 million countercyclical support package towards easing the financial pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price fluctuations in the region.

The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), a multilateral development financial institution, announced its half-year results for the six months ended 30 June, 2020. Gross operating income for the period stood at USD144.7 million while net profit reached USD54.8 million. While down from the corresponding period last year at 20% and 22%, respectively, the net profit results are notable under the current market conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price fluctuations. The revenue was mainly affected by the decrease in dividends from portfolio companies as well as revaluations in the equity investments portfolio due to the pandemic.

Income from APICORP's Treasury and Capital Markets rose to USD60.4 million, a 38% increase compared to the corresponding period of last year. Income over LIBOR from Corporate Banking for the period remained the same as compared to the first half of last year, reaching USD50.3 million. Moreover, the Corporation maintained its annualized efficiency ratio at 25.6% for the period, the same as for the 2019 financial year.

Over the period, APICORP's balance sheet grew 10% to reach USD 8.1 billion, due in large part to the growth in the size of its Treasury and Capital Markets portfolio which was funded mainly by the issuance of a benchmark USD750 million bond in June 2020. This has contributed to APICORP's readiness to fund its future business needs. APICORP also further bolstered its financial sustainability by increasing the share of its liabilities whose maturity is beyond two years to 45% of its total liabilities and shareholders' equity, up from 40% in December 2019.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Ahmed Ali Attiga, Chief Executive Officer, APICORP, said: "The results in the first six months of 2020 are a testament to the resilience of APICORP in the face of a tough global business environment. Notwithstanding the triple crisis of COVID-19, oil price volatility and economic downturn, APICORP continued to go from strength to strength, further bolstering its financial position and diversifying its portfolio as it continues its drive to support the energy transition in the region. This includes a historic callable capital increase, a highly successful benchmark bond issuance, a USD500 million countercyclical support package, being assigned a second rating of 'AA' with a stable outlook from Fitch, as well as forging new partnerships with other leaders in key projects within the energy space."

"We are looking forward to the coming period for a gradual recovery in our operating environment and the new opportunities it will bring. As the trusted financial partner to the MENA region's energy industry, we will continue to support our Member Countries and partners to alleviate the impact of COVID-19, with a focus on sustainable impact-driven energy projects and activities in the region," Dr. Attiga added.

Dr. Sherif Ayoub, Chief Financial Officer, APICORP, said: "The robust financial and risk metrics, as well as profit-generating ability during challenging times of the first half of 2020, demonstrate APICORP's ability to navigate unprecedented economic challenges. In particular, the liquidity metrics have shown tremendous resilience to withstand market shocks due, in part, to our deep and diverse funding base, while the capital adequacy ratio of 29.2% reflects the high-quality nature of our portfolio."

Highlights from 1H2020

Highlights from the first half of the year include a landmark increase in APICORP's callable capital to USD8.5 billion, as well as the largest-ever increase in authorized capital and subscribed capital to USD20 billion and USD10 billion, respectively.

APICORP was assigned an 'AA' rating with a stable outlook by Fitch and had its 'Aa2' rating with a stable outlook affirmed by Moody's, becoming the only financial institution in MENA currently to hold these two ratings. This is a testament of APICORP's ability to execute its important public mandate in the strategic and vital energy sector within its Member Countries, and beyond. Moreover, it reflects the multilateral's strong financial fundamentals and resilience despite current economic and market conditions.

APICORP launched a USD500 million countercyclical support package in April 2020 aimed at easing the financial pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price fluctuations on the region's energy sector. The package is being deployed to support sustainable impact-driven projects by extending funding for projects and working capital within various energy sub-sectors, as well as expanding trade finance support to its Member Countries to reduce the fiscal and current account pressures caused by current market conditions.

APICORP issued a benchmark USD750 million dollar-denominated bond in June which attracted robust and diverse investor demand. At 1.46%, the five-year note's fixed cost of funding was the lowest in the history of the Corporation.

APICORP acquired a 20% equity stake in Jordan Wind Project Company, owner and operator of the Tafila Wind Farm, the first utility-scale wind farm in MENA. The acquisition, the Corporation's first equity investment both in Jordan and in a wind farm venture, will contribute to wider deployment of the region's vast renewable energy sources to enable wider access to modern cost-effective electricity to millions of people.

On the financing side, the Corporation provided USD40 million in financing to the USD245 million state-of-the-art Dammam Independent Sewage Treatment Plant (ISTP), the first ISTP in Saudi Arabia, a key project that will help underpin the sustainability of the national utilities network. Besides, boasting world-class and energy-efficient facilities, the project is expected to create job opportunities for Saudis and support overall sustainable development within the Kingdom.

EITI Appoints Bady Baldé As EITI Executive Director

EITI’s Africa Director, Bady Baldé, has been appointed as its Deputy Executive Director. Going forward, he will combine the roles of Africa and Deputy Executive Director. 
 
Baldé joined the EITI in 2009 and has progressively assumed more responsibilities for the EITI’s technical, country and policy work. 

As Africa Director, he currently oversees the International Secretariat’s work in 24 implementing countries in Africa. He also works on several major policy areas. On commodity trading transparency, for example, he has been instrumental in developing EITI transparency requirements and the establishment of the commodity trading working group. 

Mark Robinson, EITI’s Executive Director, commented:
 
“I am delighted that Bady will take up the role of Deputy Executive Director at the EITI International Secretariat. Bady is an accomplished speaker and strategist, whose skills and substantial country experience will take the EITI forward, as it continues to raise the bar on extractives transparency.”  
 
Bady Baldé said: 
 
“Taking on this role at such an exciting time in EITI’s history is a challenge I will relish. Implementing the 2019 Standard requires a real step change in the level of support that the EITI International Secretariat offers to implementing countries. In parallel, we are seeking to integrate reporting into government and company systems in a way that will provide a new level of transparency in the industry.”
 
Before joining the Secretariat, Baldé worked at the Central Bank of Guinea, the German Development Corporation and as a Consultant at the World Bank. In 2012, Baldé was seconded as an expert in Natural Resources Governance in the Governance, Economic Reforms and Financial Management Department of the African Development Bank in Tunis.
 
He holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a Maîtrise en Gestion des Entreprises from the University of Conakry. Baldé is married with two children and lives in Norway.

OPEC, Non OPEC Members To Focus On Energy Poverty

Global oil producers will convene Friday in Vienna, Austria for the 177th OPEC Meeting. Through the meeting, the producers are aiming to determine the management of oil production in 2020.

The African Energy Chamber urges African OPEC and non-OPEC members to commit to the Declaration of Cooperation and ensure compliance. This is of key importance as it keeps the path to dignity and prosperity for African economies open.

The meeting falls amidst the climate change debate which has put pressure the global energy industry to implement less carbon-intensive energy solutions.

Attending the 177th Meeting, the Africans see this gathering as an opportunity for OPEC members to focus on the realities of energy poverty on the African continent and provide a solution that allows Africa to still meet its objectives of improving power access and building competing economies while participating in the dialogue about addressing climate change.

“Climate change is real. At the African Energy Chamber, we do not reject its existence and impact on the environment, instead, we are determined to express the importance of Africa’s progress not being halted particularly when it is progressing towards its summit,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and author of Amazon best-seller, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.

“There must be a dialogue between businesses and governments about the future of the global energy industry, but, African business must be on the table. Accounting for 7.3 percent of global oil reserves and 7.2 percent of global gas reserves, Africa should have a voice” added Ayuk.

Last week, the African Energy Chamber launched a petition against the proposition that in the wake of the climate change debate, Africa should limit the development and exploration of its full hydrocarbon potential. This, it has done not as a means to reject the realities of climate change, but rather as a plea to be given the same opportunity as our western counterparts to develop and industrialize our countries.

In tune with the African Energy Chamber’s plea for a gradual energy transition that does not enforce a swift change from one source to another, H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC said earlier this year that: “The oil industry must be part of the solution to the climate change challenge. The scale of the challenge means that no single energy source is a panacea; nor can the contribution of an entire industry or group of countries be overlooked. This is not a race to renewables alone; it’s a race to lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

Firm Announces Multiple Contract Awards In Saudi Arabia

National Energy Services Reunited Corp., a national, industry-leading provider of integrated energy services in the Middle East and North Africa and Asia Pacific regions, reported awards valued up to 2.5 Billion Saudi Riyal ($660 Million) for Coiled Tubing & N2, Stimulation Services and Cementing Services for a period of five (5) years with possible extensions of up to 2 years with the National Petroleum Technology Company, a subsidiary of NESR.

Dr. Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani, Senior Vice President for Upstream, Saudi Aramco commented: “NESR is a key partner for Saudi Aramco, and we are very pleased to see National Petroleum Technology Company, a subsidiary of NESR, progress in such a short span of time. As we have previously stated, we would like to see local high- caliber firms from Saudi Arabia that have proven their ability to handle complex projects to step up and take a larger role to help achieve Saudi Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add Program (IKTVA) goals, which aim to increase the company’s locally sourced goods and services to 70 percent by 2021 and contribute to the Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s national transformational program. With these awards, we would also like to see NESR introduce innovative technologies to address our challenges.”

“These awards are key as they provide a baseline for our growing operations in Saudi Arabia” said Sherif Foda, Chairman of the Board and CEO of NESR. “We are very grateful to Saudi Aramco for reposing their faith in us. As a premier national service provider, we have made significant investments in training and developing the national workforce in Saudi Arabia to deliver top level service quality. At NESR, we are committed to playing a positive role in the development of the communities in which we operate and that drives our commitment to leadership in IKTVA. These contracts allow us to grow our investments in our ongoing initiatives in Saudi Arabia.”

 

OPEC Fund For International Development Launches New Strategy

OFID’s highest policy-making body, the Ministerial Council, held its 40th Annual Session in Vienna, Austria, and approved the general principles of OFID’s new Strategic Framework.

The new strategy affirms OFID’s commitment to providing support to developing countries – especially low-income countries – in an increasingly complex and challenging development landscape.

At the Ministerial Council meeting, OFID Director-General Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “OFID’s vision is to be a relevant, agile and efficient development finance institution that can deliver maximum development impact to its partner countries while becoming self-sustainable in financing its operations.”

Over the coming months, OFID will embark on a journey to diversify its financial resources and to implement a coherent and consistent set of actions aimed at creating greater efficiency throughout the institution and equipping it with more innovative and responsive operational and financial instruments.

As part of its new strategy, OFID will renew its focus on partnerships. OFID works closely with organizations such as the World Bank, regional development banks and the bilateral and multilateral agencies of OFID member countries, as well as specialized agencies of the United Nations.

In addition to strengthening existing partnerships, OFID aims to form new relationships to revitalize the global partnership in support of sustainable development.

In keeping with previous years, a highlight of the Ministerial Council’s public session was the presentation of the OFID Annual Award for Development.

The 2019 Award was bestowed on Vida Duti – Country Director of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in Ghana – in recognition of her remarkable work and engagement in ensuring sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for the population of Ghana (see press release PR14).

The Ministerial Council also considered and approved OFID’s financial statements and 2018 Annual Report, which shows cumulative commitments to global development exceeding US$23.4 billion.

OFID aims to continue to support the global efforts to overcome development challenges, as it has done since 1976, by: extending concessionary financial assistance; participating in the financing of private sector activities in developing countries; contributing to the resources of other development institutions. Since it was established, the organization has improved its capabilities and operational reach to support South-South development and socioeconomic growth in partner countries around the world. Public Sector lending, including to low-income countries, will continue to represent the largest portion of OFID’s loan portfolio, going forward.

The Ministerial Council comprises the finance ministers and other high-level representatives of OFID Member Countries. It meets once a year.

Uganda Mourns IAEA Boss’s Death

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Eng. Irene Muloni, has expressed utter shock at the news that the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, had passed on.

The agency’s secretariat Monday announced the death of the Japanese official

 “I’m really very shocked! It’s a pity that we have lost a very great committed man. He was very instrumental in helping us as a country to bring in the cobalt 60 Cancer Treatment Machine and seeing Uganda realise its full potential of using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” said Muloni.

Ms. Sarah Nafuna, the Head Nuclear Unit at the Ministry of Energy and the National Liaison officer to the IAEA also expressed her sincere regrets at the death of the Director General.

“We shall miss our DG (Director General of IAEA). His support to the development of Uganda’s Nuclear Power Project for peaceful purposes and acquiring the Cancer Treatment Machine at Uganda Cancer Institute was very key to our country. He even attended its commissioning,” recalled Nafuna.

Amano met the president early in January 2018 ahead of the commissioning of the Cobalt 60 cancer machine at Uganda Cancer Institute, Mulago. At the meeting at State House, President Yoweri Museveni stressed the importance of peaceful use of nuclear both in resolving Africa’s energy needs and on health matters.

Barkindo OPEC Reappointment Good For Global Oil Markets Stability

The African Energy Chamber has saluted the re-appointment of H.E. Mohammed Barkindo as Secretary General of OPEC and is looks at it as a factor of stability for African and global oil markets.

Secretary General Barkindo has managed to keep OPEC united as an organization under very unstable times and a deep crisis in commodity prices. His leadership and diplomacy has restored market stability and successfully sealed landmark agreements like that of the Declaration of Cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC member countries.

More importantly for our continent, it is under Secretary General Barkindo that OPEC gained its two newest African members, Equatorial Guinea in 2017 and the Republic of Congo in 2018. Last year, he was awarded the Africa Oil Man of the Year award by Africa Oil & Power for prioritizing of cooperation in turbulent times, for stabilizing oil markets and for raising the voice of Africa on the global energy stage.

“The extension of H.E. Mohammed Barkindo’s mandate as Secretary General for another term is excellent news. It is well-deserved and a result of the trust he has gained from the entire global energy community,” declared NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group.

“Secretary Barkindo has maintained faith in the future of the oil & gas industry, he picks the right battles and fights them with courage. As the race towards stability continues, his sense of team work will continue building the bridges our industry needs to achieve greater prosperity.”
 

Helen Clark Appointed As New EITI Chair

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Members’ Meeting Monday confirmed the appointment of Rt Hon. Helen Clark as the Chair of the EITI. The EITI Board for 2019-2021 was also elected.

Helen Clark is a widely respected global leader on sustainable development and international cooperation. She served three successive terms as Prime Minister of New Zealand between 1999 and 2008.

While in government, she led policy debate on a wide range of economic, social, environmental and cultural issues, including sustainability and climate change. She then became the UNDP Administrator for two terms from 2009 to 2017, the first woman to lead the organisation.

She was also the Chair of the United National Development Group, a committee consisting of the Heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.

 Outgoing EITI Chair, Fredrik Reinfeldt commented: “I am delighted to be succeeded by Helen Clark as EITI Chair. The governance of extractive resources is one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

Helen's previous leadership roles in global development make her excellently qualified to open up new avenues for dialogue on the role of extractive resources in sustainable development.

Over the last 12 years, the EITI has grown from an initiative to a global Standard for the good governance of the sector. I would like to pay tribute to the network of stakeholders and partners who have developed the Standard and leveraged it to pursue tangible reforms and better investment." 

Mark Robinson, Executive Director of the EITI, welcomed Helen Clark's appointment, saying that: "We are delighted at Helen's appointment and confident that her political and diplomatic skills will help shape the EITI, as it continues to play an important role as the benchmark for extractives governance and transparency. Helen will be the fourth Chair of the EITI and the second woman to take up the role."

Incoming Chair, Rt Hon. Helen Clark, expressed her appreciation of the work of previous leaders of the EITI and commented: "At EITI, I will be working with more than 50 countries globally to improve transparency, accountability, and governance, and to raise the bar for extractives governance.

I am grateful for the role Fredrik and the outgoing Board have played in forging consensus on the revised 2019 EITI Standard, and I look forward to taking this important work forward."

Baker Hughes, GE Get BP's Turbomachinery Contract

BHGE to provide turbomachinery equipment for four FLNG compression trains for BP's Greater Tortue Ahmeyim natural gas project; Award is second major contract for Greater Tortue development, expanding on BHGE's contract for subsea production equipment; Floating LNG facility to provide circa 2.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum and represents the first stage of a multi-phase project

Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply turbomachinery equipment for the first phase of BP's Greater Tortue Ahmeyim floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project located offshore Mauritania and Senegal. BHGE will provide the technology for four compressor trains for offshore gas liquefaction on board Golar LNG Limited's industry leading FLNG solution, expectedto deliver 2.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum.

The contract was awarded to BHGE in the first quarter of 2019 by Golar's topsides contractor, Black and Veatch (B&V).The award builds on a separate subsea production contract also received by BHGE in the first quarter for the Project,demonstrating the strength and breadth of the company's fullstream portfolio for offshore gas fields.

Each of the four trains will consist of a PGT25+G4 aeroderivative gas turbine driving a centrifugal compressor. This solution was designed, tested and proven based on a model that B&V and BHGE developed together previously for a similar application (http://bit.ly/2PLhEHc). The gas turbines and compressors will be manufactured, tested and transported from BHGE's plants in Italy.

"Being selected for this important project reinforces our gas leadership position in the global LNG market and an important region,"said Rod Christie, President and CEO of BHGE Turbomachinery & Process Solutions. "Our technology solution has been proven to support FLNG, is based on a strong partnership with B&V and offers best-in-class reliability rates that will help reduce operational risks for Golar and BP."

Technology Details

The PGT25+ G4 gas turbine family has over 560 units in operation, with more than 3.7 million of fired hours of operating experience. First introduced in the mid 2000's, the PGT25+ G4 builds on the LM2500 and PGT25 heritage, which has over 2500 engines in service and has accumulated more than 94 million hours of operation with best-in-class reliability and availability.

Project Details

The initial subsea infrastructure connects the first four of 12 wells consolidated through production pipelines leading to a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel. From here liquids are removed and the export gas is transported via a pipeline to the FLNG hub terminal where the gas is liquefied.

The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project will produce gas from an ultra-deepwater subsea system and mid-water floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which will process the gas and remove heavier hydrocarbon components. The gas will then be transferred to a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility at an innovative nearshore hub located on the Mauritania and Senegal maritime border. The FLNG facility is designed to provide circa 2.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum on average, with the total gas resources in the field estimated to be around 15 trillion cubic feet. The project, the first major gas development to reach FID in the basin, is planned to provide LNG for global export as well as  making gas available for domestic use in both Mauritania and Senegal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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