Nigeria’s Sahara Group strengthens governance as it drives expansion

Over the weekend, Nigerian energy and infrastructure conglomerate Sahara Group has announced new strategic appointments to support its expansion across Africa and the rest of the world. The appointments all took effect on March 1st, 2022.

The head of the group’s downstream business in Nigeria, Foluso Sobanjo, was notably bumped to Head of Sahara’s downstream operations across Africa. Sahara has been increasingly expanding its investments and presence across key growing markets on the continent and currently runs operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea, Cameroun, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Last year, the group notably announced the expansion of its petroleum products storage capacity in Tanzania to 72m litres.

Equally important, Sahara has reinforced its sustainability governance by promoting its Director of Governance and Sustainability, Pearl Uzokwe, as Director of the Sahara Foundation. Pearl Uzokwe had previously championed Sahara’s energy transition efforts and led the group’s sustainability reporting over the past few years.

Finally, and in replacement of Pearl Uzokwe, Sahara has appointed Ejiro Gray as its new Director of Governance and Sustainability.

Read more

Meet Azule Energy, Angola’s newest and biggest upstream player

Following their announcement last year that they were in negotiations to combine their Angolan businesses, bp and Eni have officially signed an agreement to form a new 50/50 independent company in the country, Azule Energy. Azule Energy, a bp and Eni Company, combines both majors’ businesses in Angola with over 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) of net production and 2 billion barrels equivalent of net resources. Azule Energy is a new and independent international energy company that will hold both companies’ stakes in 16 licenses in Angola along with their participation in Angola LNG and Eni’s stake in the Solenova solar company. Currently Eni is operator of Blocks 15/06, Cabinda North, Cabinda Centro, Block 1/14, Block 28 and soon the Natural Gas Consortium. In addition, the Italian major has a stake in the non-operated Blocks 0 (Cabinda), 3/05, 3/05A, 14, 14 K/A-IMI, 15 and in Angola LNG. On its side, bp is operator of Blocks 18 and 31 offshore Angola, and has non-operated stakes in blocks 15, 17, 20 and 29. bp also has non-operated interests in the Natural Gas Consortium and in Angola LNG. “Azule Energy will continue to develop the full potential of the country’s upstream sector, while also positioning itself to capture new opportunities from the energy transition with the growing role of gas and renewables in its portfolio,” Eni said in a statement yesterday. Two FPSO hubs in the making Two of the key assets operated by the new company are Block 15/06 (Eni) and Block 31 (bp). On Block 15/06, Azule Energy will notably be executing the full field development of Agogo. Tenders were issued by Eni in July 2021 for a project targeting a peak production of 120,000 bopd via the installation of a third FPSO unit on the block. On Block 31, it will be in charge of the development of the Palas, Astraea and Juno (PAJ) fields. In July 2019, an Executive Decree approved their status as marginal to make their development economically viable, in line with Presidential Legislative No. 6/18 of 18 May 2018. As a result, the PAJ project is expected to develop about 135 million barrels using a new leased FPSO. A critical gas player Azule Energy will also become a critical player in the development of Angola’s natural gas industry. At the end of 2019, bp and Eni had joined Chevron, TotalEnergies and Sonangol in forming the New Gas Consortium, a new joint venture that will explore and produce gas in Angola and represents the country’s first upstream natural gas partnership. Eni holds 25.6% in the joint-venture while bp Angola holds another 11.8%. The New Gas Consortium will supply gas to Angola LNG by developing several new assets, starting with the Eni-operated Quiluma and Maboqueiro fields in Block 2.

QatarEnergy deepens ties with Namibia

The state-owned national oil companies of Qatar and Namibia, QatarEnergy and NAMCOR E&P, have signed a Cooperation Agreement in Doha to deepen the energy cooperation between both countries. Under the agreement, QatarEnergy will support NAMCOR E&P in the development of a sustainable upstream oil and gas sector in Namibia, notably by providing training and human capital development opportunities to NAMCOR employees. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the two companies also agreed to work together on investment opportunities of mutual interest in Namibia’s upstream oil and gas sector. QatarEnergy is already a key investor in Namibia’s oil & gas sector. The company has a 40% non-operated interest in PEL 39 where Shell just announced the Graff-1 discovery, and a 30% non-operated interest in Block 2913b where TotalEnergies just announced the Venus-1 discovery.