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Uganda says to grant oil production licences to France’s Total

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Uganda’s cabinet agreed on Wednesday to allow the energy ministry to grant three oil production licences to France’s Total, the presidency said.

Commercial crude reserves were discovered in the east African country a decade ago but production has been repeatedly delayed amid wrangling over taxation and field development strategy.

The absence of key infrastructure, such as a crude export pipeline, has also slowed progress to production.

According to a statement issued by the president’s office, the cabinet approved a request from the minister of energy to allow the issue of three petroleum production licences to Total E&P.

The licences cover the Ngiri, Jobi-Rii and Gunya fields in the Albertine rift basin, the area along the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The licenses will be valid for 25 years and can be renewed for an additional 5 years, the presidency said in the statement.

Total is the second oil firm to be offered a production license after one of its partners, China’s CNOOC.

Tullow Oil, which also co-owns fields with Total and CNOOC, has also applied for production licences and has been waiting for approval for years.

In April, Uganda agreed with Tanzania to jointly develop a pipeline to the Indian Ocean port of Tanga to help export Uganda’s crude reserves, which are estimated at 6.5 billion barrels.



(By Elias Biryabarema. Editing by Louise Heavens)

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France’s Total eyes fuel stations in Angola, signs MOU

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

LUANDA (Reuters) – France’s Total has signed an memorandum of understanding with Angola’s Sonangol, a first step to opening fuel stations in the southern African nation, Total told Reuters on Wednesday.

Angola, the continent’s second biggest oil exporter, said in October it is reorganising its oil sector and state-owned Sonangol, but details about the changes have been sparse.

Total, the largest foreign oil company producing in Angola, said the MOU was signed by chief executive Patrick Pouyanné on Monday and paves the way to a network of Total-branded stations in Angola.

“In a first phase, products would be obtained through Sonangol,” said a Total spokesman.

Sonangol has a refinery in Luanda that produces 56,000 barrels per day.

The state-owned company said in a separate statement the agreement could represent an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars, with benefits both immediate and long term.

“This action, via a consolidated partnership between the two companies, embodies the government’s strategy to liberalise trade in the sector,” Sonangol said.

Total said it will give more detail once the shareholder agreement with Sonangol is signed.

Angola’s finances have suffered as a result of a sharp slide in oil prices since mid-2014 as oil output represents 40 percent of its gross domestic product.

Sonangol is under pressure to show how it is boosting the downstream potential in Angola, which is a major producer of crude, but does not refine enough to meet its own fuel demand.





(Reporting by Herculano Coroado; Writing by TJ Strydom, editing by William Hardy)

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Total to resume South African offshore drilling next year

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – French oil major Total is expected to resume drilling offshore South Africa in the second half of 2016, part of a broader campaign to explore in Africa, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Total last year stopped drilling off the southern coast of South Africa after experiencing mechanical problems with its rig during high winds and rough seas in the Outeniqua Basin, about 175 km (109 miles) off the southern coast of South Africa.

“Our plan is to drill next year but only if those conditions are met. I think it is better to think second half than first half,” Kevin Mclachlan, Total’s senior vice president for exploration told Reuters on the sidelines of an African oil and gas conference in Cape Town.

Total is the operator of Block 11B/12B, where it holds a 50 percent stake in the field with equal partner CNR International, a subsidiary of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

Mclachlan said the company planned to drill between 10-15 wells over the next three years across the continent, including in Africa’s top two oil producers Nigeria and Angola.


(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by James Macharia, Reuters)

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