People walk by a Shell fueling station in Jijiga, Ethiopia. (guuleed/Flickr)

Ethiopian oil plays could hold billions of barrels, but challenges abound

A study indicates that two new basins in Ethiopia could contain more than two billion barrels of oil. But getting at that oil wealth means overcoming colossal hurdles. Ethiopia has no pipelines and major investors are scarce.
FMC Technologies' subsea trees monitor and control the production of a subsea well. Fixed to the wellhead of a completed well, subsea trees can also manage fluids or gas injected into the well. (FMC Technologies)

Houston firms benefit as West Africa deep water heats up

West Africa deepwater drilling activity is on the rise and Houston offshore equipment companies are happy beneficiaries, judging from multi-million dollar orders for services equipment that came through this week.
An Algerian military truck drives past a road sign indicating the city of Ain Amenas where hostages have been kidnapped by Islamic militants at a gas plant, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

Algeria’s security forces to protect energy plants

An Algerian official says that the country’s security forces will take over the job of securing the country’s oil and gas facilities, instead of private companies, following a massive terrorist attack in January.
CERAWeek panelists speak about the economic benefits of energy development in Africa, including (from left) Haruna Masebu of Tanzania's Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority, Alexander Msimang of Vinson & Elkins LLP, and Daniel Berkove of IHS. (Johnny Hanson/Houston Chronicle)

‘Afro-optimists’ consider challenges of developing Africa’s resources

With most of Africa’s 54 countries pursuing oil and gas development, the real question isn’t whether energy will be part of the continent’s future but when and how.
The Eirik Raude semi-submersible rig operates on the Jubilee Field offshore Ghana. (Photo: Tullow Oil)

Tullow drills for Ethiopia’s first oil in Kenyan extension

Tullow Oil Plc (TLW), the U.K. explorer that found Kenya’s first crude a year ago, is about to find out whether the resources extend into neighboring Ethiopia, a nation dependent on agriculture that’s yet to discover any petroleum.
Categories: Africa, Crude oil
In this Thursday, March 24, 2011 photo, a cluster of houses is seen in Port Harcourt in Nigeria's Delta region.  (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Nigeria needs balanced oil-industry law, Shell says

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, needs a balanced industry law favorable to the government and energy companies that pump the country’s crude, said Mutiu Sunmonu, chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s local unit.
Categories: Africa, Crude oil
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, an advisor for FTI Consulting, says the countries that do best in the current investment climate will be those that provide support for investors. (Eric Kayne photo)

In Africa, “there will be winners and losers”

With 48 of the continent’s 54 countries pursuing exploration for oil and gas, longtime advisor on Africa, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, says investors need to be savvy.

Commentary: The plight of the Nigerian energy industry

Nigeria is a fascinating country, with so much potential yet so many challenges. It is the largest oil producer in Africa, and has 37 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (10th largest in the world). It is also the holder of the largest natural gas reserves in Africa. For all intents and purposes it is also a […]
Noble's exploration in the eastern Mediterranean (Image: Noble Energy)

Noble Energy profits boom in fourth quarter

Noble Energy banked $251 million in the fourth quarter, after recording a loss a year earlier, demonstrating that its focus on high-performance plays is paying off.
Oil is seen on the creek water's surface near an illegal oil refinery in Ogoniland, outside Port Harcourt, in Nigeria's Delta region. A region of Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta suffers widespread ecological damage as spilled oil seeps into its drinking water, destroys plants and remains in the ground for decades at a time, according to a UN report. (AP Photo / Sunday Alamba)

Nigeria spill fines on Shell, Chevron, not backed by law

Fines amounting to $8 billion sought by Nigeria from Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Chevron Corp. (CVX) for oil spills are not backed by law, said Bukola Saraki, chairman of the country’s Senate Committee on Environment.
Categories: Accidents, Africa, Crude oil