Afreximbank steps up support to first Africa-owned FLNG project

Last week in Cairo, the Afreximbank signed a Heads of Terms to support the establishment by UTM Offshore of the first Africa-owned floating LNG unit in Nigeria. Both companies had already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the end of last year.

UTM Offshore has been working for a couple of years on deploying a floating unit that would process flared gas into LNG for the export market. In 2021, it received a License to Establish (LTE) and teamed up with LNG Investment Management Services (LIMS), a subsidiary of NNPC Ltd, to advance the project.

It has now been joined by several international financial and technical partners, including KBR as owner’s engineer, and a consortium of JGC Corp. and Samsung Heavy Industries to execute the FEED. A final investment decision (FID) is expected in 2023 for a commissioning in 2026.

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Eco Oil & Gas consolidates interest in Block 3B/4B offshore South Africa

In yet another deal within the Orange Basin, Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas has announced its acquisition of another 6.25% in South African block 3B/4B. The company already entered the block earlier this year when it acquired Azinam, who holds a 20% non-operated interest in the license. Eco Oil & Gas is acquiring its additional 6.25% from the Lunn Family Trust, one of the largest shareholders of Ricocure (Pty) Ltd. Ricocure is a 60% interest holding in Block 3B/4B. The license is located in the deep waters of the Orange Basin in the Southern African Atlantic coast, south of the maritime border between Namibia and South Africa. The zone is notably located along-trend of an emerging Mid-Cretaceous oil play where Shell and TotalEnergies discovered oil and gas at their respective Graff-1 and Venus-1 high-impact exploratory wells in Namibia in early 2022. Both wells were play-openers for a new petroleum province offshore Namibia and South Africa, which could be further proven with exploration on Blocks 3B/4B. The license has been subject to substantive exploration spending, including from previous operator BHP Billiton who acquired a 10,000km² GeoStreamer 3D survey in 2012, while Shell acquired a further 8,000km² of 3D to the north of the block at the same time. In addition to 3D seismic data, 1,400 km of multi vintage 2D seismic also spans the licence. Such data has allowed current partners, including new operator Africa Oil Corp since 2020, to identify an inventory of leads and prospects out of which Wolf, previously known as Aardwolf, could be subject to exploratory drilling. Details on the exploration of Block 3B/4B are available in the “Projects” section within your Hawilti+ research terminal.

TotalEnergies to develop wood production and carbon sinks in Gabon

TotalEnergies has bought a 49% stake in Compagnie des Bois du Gabon (CBG) from Criterion Africa Partners. In doing so, the French major seeks to develop a forward-looking model of sustainable and responsible forest management that combines sustainable harvesting, biodiversity conservation, and long-term carbon storage. Criterion Africa Partners had entered the capital of CBG back in 2016, supporting the harvesting of 150,000 m3/year of mixed tropical hardwood species and processing logs through the company’s own manufacturing facilities. “CBG’s sawmill produces lumber for both local and export markets, while its rotary veneer plant produces Okoume veneer for The Joubert Group which is Europe’s largest plywood producer,” according to Criterion Africa Partners. “The forest management model applied by the partners will make it possible to develop a new balance between, on the one hand, the harvesting and local processing of sustainable wood combined with carbon storage and, on the other, the production of related carbon credits thanks to the reduced impact of forest operations, reforestation, agroforestry and conservation of natural forests,” TotalEnergies said in a statement. This is not the first such project of the international oil company in Central Africa. In March 2021, TotalEnergies had already announced a partnership with Forêt Ressources Management and the Republic of Congo for the plantation of a 40,000ha forest on the Batéké Plateaux. The new forest will sequester over 10 million tons of CO2 over two decades and will be certified according to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) standards. The new forest in Congo will also effectively create a carbon sink and support the development of agroforestry practices with the local communities for food production and sustainable wood energy.