Tag Archives: oil

Who will benefit from East Africa’s oil and gas?

Think Africa

by Thembi Mutch

Mikindani, Tanzania:
In the small village of Mikindani on the south-eastern coast of Tanzania, World Bank-funded roads sit alongside shattered coral from dynamite fishing and poor sewerage facilities.

John, 15, points to the four ships in the distance. “They’re all here because of the oil and gas”, he says. “Sometimes the wazungu [foreign staff] come in on helicopters. They’re not allowed to meet us; there’s a ten-mile exclusion zone around their compounds in case they get kidnapped.”

Like millions of teenagers mired in poverty across East Africa, John harbours dreams of change; to escape from the under-developed, politically-marginalised area he calls home, and for a better life for himself and his family.

Others offering commentary are suspicious and resentful. An elder of the village tells Think Africa Press, “Unemployment is a massive problem, only 8-10% of us work, and we are desperate…our problem is the government is over 650 km away in Dar es Salaam – they have abandoned us, they have no interest. We are the forgotten child.”

He continues: “When the jobs come with the gas, then they give the jobs to outsiders, either from other areas of the mainland, or to Zambians, to Kenyans. Not to us. The gas here they will export to other areas, and here we will still be left without the basics.” For many of the inhabitants of Mikindani, word of oil and gas brings little but concern about corruption.

A blessing for whom?
After fifty years of exploration, many big players in the natural resource industry are now committed to East Africa. Drilling in the region, involving some 18 companies, is taking place in nearly 30 offshore coastal areas in southern Kenya, southern Tanzania, and northern Mozambique. With only 500 oil wells drilled so far (compared to West and North Africa’s 35,000), the estimated volume of the gas reserves remaining is around 100 trillion cubic feet.

Understandably, East African media is buzzing with excited articles, some predicting industrialisation and imminent wealth.  Read more…

Angolan state oil firm posts $3.3bn profit

Reuters Africa

LISBON (Reuters) – Angolan state oil firm Sonangol posted a 32 percent rise in net profit in 2011, as strong revenues on the back of high oil prices more than offset weak output, state news agency Angop cited the company’s new chief executive as saying on Friday.

Francisco de Lemos Jose Maria told a press briefing that net profit came in at $3.32 billion, up from $2.52 billion in 2010, Angop reported.

Sonangol is the main player in the oil sector in Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria. The company also has exploration activities in Iraq, Venezuela and Brazil.

Jose Maria added that Angola’s crude production fell to 1.66 million barrels per day (mbpd) last year from 1.76 mbpd in 2010.

Sonangol’s direct production fell 6.9 percent, while production by international oil companies dropped 18.2 percent, Angop quoted the CEO as saying.

Angola’s oil production fell short of estimates last year due to technical problems at some fields and maintenance at others, leading the government to cut its economic growth estimate for 2011 to 3.4 percent from an initial 7.6 percent.

With fields coming back on line and new projects ramping up production, the government expects output to rebound this year to 1.8 mbpd and help the economy expand 12.8 percent.  Read more…

South Sudan offers package deal to resolve issues with Khartoum

Sudan Tribune

By Julius N. Uma

November 18, 2011 (JUBA) – South Sudan has proposed to offer north Sudan a “package” to resolve the deadlock in the ongoing post-independence negotiations on southern oil transportation, a senior member of the ruling party said Friday.


Pagan Amum Okiech, the Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) said the decision is part of the proposal they plan to present to the African Union (AU) High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) on Sudan chaired by former South African president, Thabo Mbeki.

Speaking to the press on Friday, the head of South Sudan negotiating team on the post-independence arrangements reiterated in a conciliatory tone, GOSS’s commitment to reach a deal with Khartoum on all the contentious issues including Abyei, border demarcation, national debt, oil transit fees and border trade. Read more…

Fall in South Sudan’s oil output


Oil production in South Sudan has fallen by a quarter since independence four months ago, Unity State’s environment minister has told the BBC.





Since the split from the north there has been a shortage of skilled workers,
the minister, William Garjang, said.

The rainy season was also making it difficult to repair faulty machinery and
several roads have been mined by rebels, he said.

Revenue from oil provides 98% of the new nation’s budget.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July – the culmination of a peace deal
signed in 2005 that ended decades of civil war. The two countries have yet to agree on sharing their oil wealth. Read more…

South Sudan rebel group attacks town in oil-rich


// SSLA rebels

The SSLA has warned United Nations staff and aid workers to leave Unity State

Rebels from the South Sudan Liberation Army have attacked a town in the oil-rich Unity State and at least 75 people have died, the national army has said.

Among the dead, nine were soldiers, 15 were civilians and at least 50 were
rebels, an army spokesman told the BBC.

South Sudan became independent in July after a peace deal with Khartoum that
ended decades of civil war. Afterwards, some of the region’s rebel movements struck deals with the government but several remain defiant. Read more…

South Africa: Tokyo, Kgalema fuming over Zuma’s oily move

As the jockeying for position inside the ANC gets more intense ahead of next year’s  and Motlanthe could bedecision over who will be the movement’s next presidential candidate. Sexwale recently appeared to support Zuma’s arch-enemy Julius Malema over the disciplinary hearing, which could be Zuma’s way of silencing or marginalising his most vocal critic.  Sexwale serious contenders for the leadership, and they see the early publication of the oil report as a cynical political ploy. KS

Mail and Guardian

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale are deeply unhappy about President Jacob Zuma’s decision to release the Donen report.

Although neither politician responded directly, the Mail & Guardian spoke to two sources with direct access to the Motlanthe and Sexwale camps who indicated the politicians felt betrayed and the only explanation for the decision was that Zuma “was attempting to throw dirt”.

The Donen commission of inquiry was initiated by former president Thabo Mbeki to investigate alleged illicit activities of named South African companies and individuals in relation to the Iraqi Oil For Food programme.

The investigation flowed from articles first published in the M&G and then buttressed by the report of the United Nations’ independent inquiry committee.

The allegations centered on claims that Motlanthe and businessman Sandi Majali had sought to benefit the ANC through state and private contracts with the Saddam Hussain regime — and might have been involved in paying illegal kickbacks to the Iraqis.

A company in which Sexwale was involved, Mocoh, was also alleged by the UN committee to have paid a kickback or surcharge. Read more…

Zambia: Sata demands and gives apologies to neighbours

Keith Somerville

In keeping with his reputation for speaking his mind, in his first weeks in office President Michael Sata has issued a trenchant demand for an apology from Malawi for his deportation from there in 2007 and, now, has fulsomely apologised to Angola for Zambian support in the past for the UNITA rebel movement.

Sata is so angry over the deportation and Malawi’s failure to go beyond revocationof the order to a proper apology that he refused to attend last week’s Comesa summit in Malawi.  But so keen is he to mend fences with Angola that he has apologised to the Dos sa tos government and sent former President and frontline states doyen Kenneth Kaunda to Luanda as a sign of his desire for better relations.  Read more…