Connect with us

Business News

Angola’s oil and gas industry bouncing back after reforms

In order to turn the sector around dozens of new blocs are set to be sold off in the coming months.

News Central

Published

on

A view of the flare on the Kaombo Norte, a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel(FPSO), about 250km off the coast of Angola in the Atlantic Ocean.

Angola is bouncing back after its fuel production slumped last year to a decade low as President Joao Lourenco steers reforms vital to the country’s economy and wins approval from oil majors.

“It is a new era. I see a growing interest from investors,” says Guido Brusco, vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa of Italian giant ENI.

“We should come back to 2012/2013 to see the same level of interest” as that now being shown by investors, Brusco said on the sidelines of a conference earlier this month in Luanda.

France’s Total, the premier operator in Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria with output of 650,000 barrels per day, confirms as much.

“There is a business environment which could lead us soon to sign several agreements,” says a Total spokesperson. “A new page of Angola’s petrol industry is clearly opening.”

The arrival of Lourenco, who succeeded Jose Eduardo dos Santos who ruled for 36 years, has marked a radical step for the OPEC-member country.

When Lourenco took office oil prices were struggling to come back from a slump going back to 2014 but he has launched a string of initiatives in order to tackle falling production.

With oil Angola’s primary resource, that was an overriding priority given that production of “black gold” last year slid just below 1.5 million bpd, its lowest level for 10 years – the consequence of low prices and a freezing of new projects.

“We were in an environment of low prices and firms found it difficult to get responses from (state producer) Sonangol to advance dossiers,” an oil sector source who requested anonymity told AFP.

Before embarking on reforms Lourenco first spent several months consulting the industry to pinpoint means of relaunching activity.

A series of policies, including tax perks, were introduced, enshrined in several presidential decrees which, Brusco says, have managed to “improve the investment climate.”

Brusco says he served on a committee to deliver proposals to that effect “and the government endorsed those proposals.” 

Tax perks

Those decrees have allowed the development of resources which had previously been unviable and to relaunch exploration programmes.

The results of the favourable legal framework soon emerged.

Within 12 months, Brusco says, ENI had discovered five fields.

“Total and other actors are reevaluating a number of dossiers they had put on hold as unviable but which today could function,” given the tax advantages, says the oil sector source.

Those include so-called satellite fields near to blocs which have already been exploited.

Britain’s BP and US rival ExxonMobil are also angling for new investments in Angola, according to Adam Pollard, senior upstream analyst for sub-Saharan Africa with Wood Mackenzie.

“We have already seen new projects sanctioned by Total (Zinia 2, CLOV Phase 2 and Dalia Phase 3) and Eni, BP and ExxonMobil are also planning new investments,” said Pollard.

Lourenco has also wielded a new broom at Sonangol, bringing changes to an influential firm which is also the biggest contributor to state coffers.

First, the president laid off COE Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the former head of state amid suspicions of financial wrongdoing — which Africa’s richest woman roundly denies.

Lourenco has also removed from Sonangol one of its key tasks — granting exploration and drilling permits, with that task now performed by new separate entity, the National Oil and Gas Agency (ANPG). 

Lourenco explains such reforms are designed to “restructure” the sector in Angola and “create the conditions for making private investment attractive.”

And that is not all.

Lourenco vowed to top industry players earlier this month that Angola is going “to intensify efforts to renew reserves and temper the large decline of oil production.”

In order to turn the sector around dozens of new blocs are set to be sold off in the coming months.

Luanda recognises an urgent need to advance. Without new projects coming on stream production could slide below a million bpd by 2023, the Ministry of Oil warns.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Business News

Mali’s new mining rules end tax exemptions

The regulatory change seeks to bring a “substantial increase” in the contribution of the mining sector

Published

on

New Mali mining law removes tax exemption

Mining companies operating in Mali will no longer be exempt from value-added tax during production and will only be protected from fiscal changes for a shorter period.

The regulatory change seeks to redress the “shortcomings” of a 2012 law by bringing a “substantial increase” in the contribution of the mining sector to the economy, the Mines Ministry said in a statement.

However, some industry watchers view the code change as a new instance of so-called “resource nationalism” and will likely spark tensions between the Malian government and mining companies.

Mali is currently Africa’s third-largest gold producer.

The regulation shortens the “stability period” during which mining companies’ existing investments are protected from changes to fiscal and customs regimes.

Changes to regulatory stability clauses have been strongly opposed by international mining companies elsewhere in Africa, most notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo where miners spent months at loggerheads with the government.

Under Mali’s previous law, stability was ensured for 30 years. It was however not made clear what the length of the new stability period would be, but the Economy Ministry said last year that the government aimed to reduce those protections to the lifespan of a mine.

“It’s the reality of the playing field at the moment, a lot of companies in Mali will have looked at what happened in DRC and Tanzania and they will have to be very cautious,” said Warren Beech, partner and head of mining at Eversheds Sutherland in Johannesburg.

Mali’s government had been negotiating with a working group of mining companies to draft a new code but said last year that it would move to implement a new law unilaterally if no compromise was reached.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Business News

Forbes lists South Africa’s Trevor Noah as world’s 4th-richest comedian

Noah, whose ranking makes him the richest comedian in Africa, earned a whopping $28m in the period between June 2018 and June 2019

Published

on

Forbes lists South Africa's Trevor Noah as world's 4th-richest comedian
U.S-based South African comedian, Trevor Noah. (Comedy Central/AFP)

South African comedian, Trevor Noah is the fourth-highest paid comedian in the world, according to the Forbes Rich List 2019.

This is the first time the 35-year-old star has made it into the magazine’s top 10 since he began his work.

Noah, whose ranking makes him the richest comedian in Africa, earned a whopping $28m in the period between June 2018 and June 2019 from various projects, including his day job as the TV host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”.

Most of his income, however, came from his 70-stop world tour as a stand-up comedian, making him eligible for the list of richest stand-ups.

In the 2019 list, the South African came behind Kevin Hart ($59m), Jerry Seinfeld ($41), Jim Gaffigan ($30m).

Other than his tour, sources of Noah’s 2018 income were his two shows on Netflix, and book sales from his bestselling autobiography “Born A Crime”, which is still ranked No. 1 on the New York Times’ bestseller list for paperback nonfiction.

Forbes lists South Africa's Trevor Noah as world's 4th-richest comedian
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images/AFP

As a group, the top 10 best-paid comedians raked in $272m, that’s $20m less than the previous period.

The reduction in earnings among the top comedians has been attributed to reduced action among some, including Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, who came in at $30m and $35m last year, respectively.

Trevor Noah’s ‘The Daily Show’ has become quite popular, with the South African inspiring laughter from topics ranging from politics to daily life events.

Noah joined the show in 2014 as a contributor, some two years after making his U.S. television debut on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Business News

Zimbabwe to issue new currency notes to counter cash shortage

Zimbabwe abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, after a bout of hyperinflation in favour of currencies like the dollar and rand

Published

on

Zimbabwe to issue new currency notes to counter cash shortage

Zimbabwe will issue new notes and coins soon to replace the country’s quasi-currency that was introduced three years ago in a failed attempt to counter a crippling shortage of cash.

The return to a fully-fledged local currency exchangeable outside the country’s borders will be backed by an undisclosed amount of foreign-exchange reserves, gold and loans, according to the country’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube.

Zimbabwe abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, after a bout of hyperinflation in favour of a basket of currencies including the US dollar and the South African rand.

In a bid to deal with the subsequent cash shortages, it introduced so-called bond notes and RTGS dollars in their electronic form, which are not accepted outside the country.

Ncube re-introduced the Zimbabwe dollar in June, accompanied by a ban on the use of foreign currencies-leading to a rapid erosion of spending power with the local dollar trading at almost 10 to the greenback.

Bond notes were officially said to be at parity as recently as February.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Trending