This week the SubseaIQ team added 4 new projects and updated 13 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field development news and activities are listed below for your convenience.
Africa – West
Oct 24, 2013 – Lukoil completed drilling the Savannah-1X wildcat in the Sl-5-11 license offshore Sierra Leone. The well was drilled on schedule by the Eirik Raude (UDW semisub) to a depth of 14,519 feet. Several oil-bearing reservoirs were confirmed and oil samples were taken from Turonian sands. Drilling data will be evaluated through the end of the year to advance the company’s geological understanding of the area.
Project Details: Savannah
Asia – Far East
CNOOC Announces Additional Bohai Bay Discoveries
Oct 24, 2013 – CNOOC announced an oil discovery at its Luda 5-2 North field in Bohai Bay. The Luda 5-2N-2 and Luda 5-2N-4 wells were each drilled to a depth of 3,740 feet and encountered gross pay zones of 390 and 280 feet respectively. Luda 5-2N-2 tested oil at a rate 1,040 barrels per day. Additionally, the company announced the successful appraisal of the Kenli 9-5/9-6 oil field. The Kenli 9-5-2D and 9-6-2 wells were drilled in the southern part of Bohai Bay. Kenli 9-6-2 flowed at a rate of 200 barrels per day.
S. America – Brazil
Petrobras-led Consortium to Develop Pre-Salt Libra Field
Oct 24, 2013 – A group of companies comprised of Petrobras, Shell, Total, CNPC and CNOOC won a 35-year production sharing contract to develop the Libra pre-salt oil field in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil. Libra is located in block BM-S-11 in 6,500 feet of water and is estimated to hold as much at 12 billion barrels of oil. Additional appraisal will be needed to determine the best development scenario and to confirm production rates that are currently estimated at 1.4 MMbopd. Petrobras will serve as the operator with a 40 percent stake on behalf of its partners Shell (20 percent), Total (20 percent), CNPC (10 percent) and CNOOC (10 percent).
Europe – North Sea
Oct 24, 2013 – Drilling results at Eni’s Bonna prospect in the Barents Sea proved to be disappointing. Well 7016/2-1 was drilled by the Scarabeo 8 (UDW semisub) to a depth of 13,205 feet. The well was drilled to investigate the possibility of gas in the Eocene and Paleocene reservoirs of the Sotbakken Group. No reservoir-quality rocks were encountered and the well has been declared dry.
Project Details: Bonna
Asia – SouthEast
Oct 24, 2013 – Neon Energy announced the spud of the Ca Ngu-1 exploration well in Block 120 offshore Vietnam. The objective of the well is to prove the presence of hydrocarbons in Pliocene clastic and Miocene carbonate reservoirs. Block operator ENI secured the Songa Mercur (mid-water semisub) to drill the well in 885 feet of water to a target depth of around 4,900 feet. If successful, the well could de-risk the nearby Rua Bien and Ca Lang prospects. Block 120 partners consist of ENI (50%), Neon Energy (25%) and KrisEnergy (25%).
Project Details: Ca Ngu
Oct 24, 2013 – Subsea tree installation, well clean-up and flow testing of the Galoc-6H development well have successfully been completed at the Otto Energy-operated Galoc field. Galoc-6H flowed at a stable rate of 3,800 bopd on a 56/64-inch choke with a flowing tubing pressure of ~570 psi. These results were constrained by the testing equipment onboard the Ocean Patriot (mid-water semisub). Once tied into production facilities, Otto expects normal production from the well to reach 4,000 to 6,000 bopd. The 5H and 6H wells were drilled as part of the Phase II development plan which aims to increase field production to 12,000 bopd. Phase II production is scheduled to begin in November 2013.
Project Details: Galoc
S. America – Other & Carib.
Oct 25, 2013 – French supermajor Total announced its decision to move forward with the development of the Vega Pleyade gas and condensate field offshore Argentina. The field is located in the Cuenca Marina Austral 1 (CMA-1) concession that Total has operated since 1978. Development consists of installing a new production platform in about 160 feet of water. Three production wells will be drilled from the platform and produced gas will flow through 48 miles of subsea pipeline to a treatment plant at Rio Cullen. In a separate initiative, Total will begin a drilling campaign in 2014 aimed at boosting production from the Carina field and providing additional appraisal in CMA-1. Total owns a 37.5 percent stake in the concession. Its partners include Wintershall (37.5 percent) and Pan American Energy (25 percent).
Project Details: Vega Pleyade
Oct 25, 2013 – Drilling operations are complete at the Eni-operated Evans Shoal North-1 appraisal well. The well, located in the Timor Sea, was drilled by the Ensco 104 (400′ ILC) to a depth of almost 13,000 feet. Results indicate that the Evans Shoal North-1 reservoir is in communication with the reservoir encountered while drilling Evans Shoal-2. Eni conducted a production test and achieved a constrained rate of 30 MMscfd. The operator estimates the Evans Shoal field to contain at least 8 Tcf of in place gas resources and remains committed to establishing a fast-track development in the area. Eni’s partners in the field include Shell (32.5 percent), Petronas (25 percent) and Osaka Gas (10 percent).
Project Details: Evans Shoal
Oct 25, 2013 – ExxonMobil announced the start of production from its Kipper Tuna Turrum (KTT) project in the Bass Strait. Gas is now being produced at the Tuna field and oil is flowing from Turrum to the Marlin B production platform. At $4.3 billion, KTT is the largest domestic oil and gas development on Australia’s eastern seaboard. Production startup from the Kipper field is expected to commence in 2016.
Project Details: Kipper Tuna Turrum (KTT)
CNOOC Limited and Nexen Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which CNOOC Limited will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Nexen for US$27.50 per share in cash.
The purchase price represents a premium of 61% to the closing price of Nexen’s common shares on the NYSE on July 20, 2012, and a premium of 66% to Nexen’s 20 trading-day volume-weighted average share price. Total cash consideration of approximately US$15.1 billion will be paid for Nexen’s common and preferred shares, and Nexen’s current debt of approximately US$4.3 billion will remain outstanding. The transaction, which will be completed by way of a plan of arrangement, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The acquisition of Nexen expands CNOOC Limited’s overseas businesses and resource base in order to deliver long-term, sustainable growth. Nexen will complement CNOOC Limited’s large offshore production footprint in China and extends CNOOC Limited’s global presence with a high-quality asset base in many of the world’s most significant producing regions – including Western Canada, the U.K. North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Nigeria – focused on conventional oil and gas, oil sands and shale gas. In addition, Nexen management’s current mandate will be expanded to include all of CNOOC Limited’s North American and Caribbean assets.
Nexen had average production of 207 mboe/d (after royalties) in Q2 2012. In accordance with SEC rules, Nexen had 900 mmboe of proved reserves and 1,122 mmboe of probable reserves as of December 31, 2011. In addition, as of December 31, 2011, Nexen had best estimate contingent resources of 5.6 billion boe in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 51-101, predominantly in the Canadian oil sands.
The transaction will be funded by CNOOC Limited’s existing cash resources and external financing.
Mr. Wang Yilin, Chairman of CNOOC Limited said, “The acquisition reflects our strong belief in Nexen’s rich and diverse portfolio of assets and world-class management and employees. This is an exciting opportunity for us to build on our existing joint venture relationship with Nexen in Canada, and to acquire a leading international platform in the process. We strongly believe that this acquisition will create long-term value for CNOOC Limited’s shareholders.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr. Barry Jackson, Chairman of the Board of Nexen, said, “This transaction delivers significant and immediate value to Nexen shareholders. The Nexen Board is unanimous in its view that the transaction is in the best interest of Nexen and recommends shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.”
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 3 new projects and updated 28 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.|
The Ministry of Commerce, People’s Republic of China, has granted consent to British Petroleum (BP), for an exploration drilling in the South China Sea in partnership with CNOOC, China Daily reveals today.
BP and the block operator CNOOC signed a deal for the exploration at the 43/11 deepwater block in South China Sea in January last year, but the agreement was subject to the Government’s approval.
This is BP’s second project in the deep waters of South China Sea after it had bought a stake in the Block 42/05 from Devon Energy China Ltd., in September 2010.
Asked when the exploration drilling would begin, BP China President Chen Liming told Reuters: “When we start depends on many factors, such as whether the drilling rig is ready. We hope to start drilling there by the end of the year.”
BP has been operating in China since the early 1970s and has business activities which include offshore gas production, chemical joint ventures, LPG import and marketing, oil product and lubricant retailing, chemicals joint ventures manufacturing ,technology licensing etc. According to China Daily, the British oil giant has so far invested more than USD 5 billion into China.
- BP Acquires Interest in Block 42/05 South China Sea
- China: CNOOC Signs Amendment Agreements to PSC for Three Deepwater Blocks
- China: Eni Signs MOU with Sinopec for Strategic Cooperation
- CNOOC to Spud South China Sea Wildcat in Coming Weeks
- Roc Oil Announces Beibu Gulf Project Final Investment Decision Approved
- Is War in the South China Sea Inevitable? (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South China Sea: The New Persian Gulf? (Defence IQ) (thuytinhvo.wordpress.com)
- China Budgets $11 Billion for Offshore Energy Development in 2012 (gcaptain.com)
- China’s South China Sea Gamble (imaginedregions.wordpress.com)
By YASIIN MUGERWA & SHEILA NATURINDA
A group of NRM MPs yesterday boycotted a meeting called by President Museveni at State House, Entebbe to try and convince members to back him on a $2.9 billion (Shs7.3 trillion) oil deal to bring Total-CNOOC into Uganda’s oil industry through a farm-out by Tullow Oil.
Addressing a news conference at parliament independent-minded MPs described their colleagues who went for President Museveni’s meeting as “hypocrites”. Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo, Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko, Vincent Kyamadidi (Rwampara) and Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) said they couldn’t be party to a State House meeting that seeks to help the President overthrow Parliament.
“We passed a resolution in Parliament stopping the signing of oil contracts without relevant laws in place,” Mr Niwagaba said. “We were not drunk when we passed this resolution. We had given the government 30 days to table these laws but it’s now two months and they have not acted yet the President wants to sign new contracts.” He added: “We want to warn Oil companies that if they dare sign, Ugandans will not be party to illegal contracts signed with the President because as far as we are concerned Tullow doesn’t have any license.”
In an unprecedented response to what they called “a sinister plot to hijack the independence of Parliament and entrench corruption in the oil sector”, a group of the same legislators in October this year walked out on President Museveni at the party’s stormy Kyankwanzi retreat.
Those who witnessed this drama, this newspaper that the trouble began after the President proposed that the NRM Caucus resolve to overturn the Parliament resolutions on oil that placed a moratorium on executing oil contracts and oil transactions on the Executive until the necessary laws have been passed by Parliament.
The President reportedly argued that the resolutions of Parliament on the matter would affect the $2.9 billion deal to bring Total and CNOOC into Uganda’s oil industry. But sources who attended the Friday NRM Caucus Meeting at State House told Daily Monitor that President told members that Speaker Rebecca Kadaga assured him that the resolution didn’t affect on-going contracts.
But the lawmakers led by Mr Ssekikubo and Abdul Katuntu who was part of the press conference, the chief petitioners in an on-going House inquiry in to the allegations of corruption said the $2.9 billion deal with Total-CNOOC in a farm-out deal will be challenged in courts of law. Kyamadidi and Nsereko accused Tullow of peddling air. The MPs want government to withhold its consent to signing of a deal expected to be concluded as soon as the two parties agree on the tax component.
“Self-indulgence is what is taking place at State House,” Mr Ssekikubo said. “I don’t know what my colleagues have gone to do at State House. If it’s to help the President sign Total-CNOOC deal with Tullow, then they are making a very big mistake. Our position is that Parliament must be respected and the President should wait for the oil laws to be put in place before entering into any contract.”
But Mr Katuntu, an established lawyer said: “Tullow doesn’t not have any legal contract. The Memorandum of Understanding they signed with the government is illegal and should not be a basis for entering into new contracts. It’s up to those companies which want to be hoodwinked to proceed and sign otherwise what the president is trying to do is illegal and unacceptable.”
While the independent-minded NRM MPs boycotted the meeting, majority of the friendly NRM MPs attended the meeting with the President which started at 4pm. Details of the meeting were not readily available by press time. But sources said the President wanted MPs support him on the deal. This was a follow-up meeting to the one at Kyankwanzi meeting which allowed the president to proceed with the deal.
At Kyankawanzi meet, after some MPs walked out on the President, Soroti Municipality MP Mike Mukula moved a motion which was seconded by Mr Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality) binding the NRM Caucus to allow the President to proceed with the signing of the $2.9 billion Total-CNOOC farm-out deal with Tullow.
- Soros Plots Museveni’s Coup (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Uganda Halts Oil Deals Amidst Corruption Probe (ibtimes.com)
- (Updated 10-12) Ugandan Parliament Votes to Suspend Oil Deals on Corruption Charges (africommons.wordpress.com)
- Uganda: Minister aims to present oil bills this year (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Accused Uganda ministers resign (bbc.co.uk)
- Uganda struggles to make oil a blessing (marketwatch.com)
- Uganda Welcomes Oil, but Fears Graft It Attracts (nytimes.com)
- Uganda MPs vote to bar oil deals (bbc.co.uk)
- Uganda president snubs call for Tullow deal delay (ibtimes.com)
China’s largest offshore oil producer, China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), said unconventional oil and gas production in its United States partnerships totaled 3 million to 4 million barrels this year.
“We expect annual production to hit 8 million barrels as we put more capital into the wells,” said Zhu Weilin, executive vice-president of CNOOC Ltd.
China is estimated to hold more natural gas trapped in shale than the US, according to the US Energy Information Administration in April. Shale gas is among the largest onshore energy prospects in China.
CNOOC paid $570 million for a 33.3-percent stake in Chesapeake Energy Corp’s Niobrara shale project in Colorado and Wyoming in February this year. Last November, the company made a $1.8-billion purchase for a one-third stake in Chesapeake’s Eagle Ford project in south Texas.
He said his company is looking for opportunities with US companies in deepwater exploration as well as shale gas and oil.
“CNOOC has 19 offshore blocks in China that we are looking for foreign partners to co-develop,” said Zhu at the recent China-US Relations Conference.
“We see other small Chinese companies coming to the US for partnerships and supply agreements in unconventional oil and gas fields,” said Christine Ehlig-Economides, professor of the Petroleum Engineering Department at Texas A&M University. “This is one area they want to learn from.”
Industry analysts said China is paying a high premium for the partnerships while others have said Chinese is learning new exploration techniques through the projects.
The prices China’s State-owned oil companies have paid for assets are mixed; in some cases, they may have paid above market value but recent economic conditions, good financial performances, and growing experience with international deals have benefited the companies, according to a report by the International Energy Agency.
Two-thirds of the USD 70 billion invested in 144 projects overseas by China’s three oil giants, Sinopec Group, China National Petroleum Corp and CNOOC, have not turned a profit thus far, according to a recent report by the China University of Petroleum and the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association.
“Natural resources are one of the few sectors where the US government has stringent scrutiny because they are the strategic industries,” said Huang Yasheng, professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2005, CNOOC dropped its USD 18.5-billion bid for Unocal Corp because of opposition from US lawmakers.
It would have been the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese company.
“Chinese companies should position themselves globally, rather than nationally,” said Xiang Bing, founding dean of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, one of China’s leading business schools.
- Norwegian giant in it for the long haul with Texas shale venture (mb50.wordpress.com)
By Pepe Escobar
Beware of strangers bearing gifts. Post-modern Amazon and United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally landed in Tripoli – on a military jet – to lavish praise on the dodgy Transitional National Council (TNC), those pportunists/defectors/Islamists formerly known as “North Atlantic Treaty Organization rebels”.
Clinton was greeted on Tuesday “on the soil of free Libya” (her words) by what the New York Times quaintly described as an “irregular militia” (translation: a heavily armed gang that is already raising hell against other heavily armed gangs), before meeting TNC chairman Mustafa Abdel-NATO (formerly known as Jalil).
The bulk of the US gifts – US$40 million – on top of the $135 million already disbursed since February (most of it military “aid”) is for a missile scramble conducted by “contractors” (ie mercenaries) trying to track the tsunami of mobile anti-aircraft rockets that by now are already conveniently ensconced in secret Islamist warehouses.
Clinton told students at the University of Tripoli, “We are on your side.” She could not possibly connect the dots and note that the shabab (young people) who started demonstrating against Muammar Gaddafi in February have absolutely nothing to do with the TNC’s opportunists/defectors/Islamists who hijacked the protests. But she did have time to unveil another US foreign policy “secret” – that the US wants Gaddafi “dead or alive”, George W Bush-style (or as the beneficiary of targeted assassination, Barack Obama-style).
The new Fallujah
In her exhausting six-and-a-half hours on “free Libya” soil, Clinton couldn’t possibly find the time to hitch a helicopter ride to Sirte and see for herself how NATO is exercising R2P (“responsibility to protect” civilians).
A few hundred soldiers and no less than 80,000 civilians have been bombed for weeks by NATO and the former “rebels”. Only 20,000 civilians have managed to escape. There’s no food left. Water and electricity have been cut off. Hospitals are idle. The city – under siege – is in ruins. Sirte imams have issued a fatwa (decree) allowing survivors to eat cats and dogs.
What Gaddafi never did to Benghazi – and there’s no evidence he might have – the TNC is doing to Sirte, Gaddafi’s home town. Just like the murderous US offensive in Fallujah in the Iraqi Sunni triangle in late 2004, Sirte is being destroyed in order to “save it”. Sirte, the new Fallujah, is brought to you by NATO rebels. R2P, RIP.
It gets much nastier. Libya is just one angle of a multi-vector US strategy in Africa. Wacko presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann, during Tuesday’s Republican debate in Las Vegas, may have inadvertently nailed it. Displaying her geographical acumen as she referred to Obama’s new US intervention in Uganda, Bachmann said, “He put us in Libya. Now he’s putting us in Africa.” True, Libya is not in Africa anymore; as the counter-revolutionary House of Saud would want it, Libya has been relocated to Arabia (ideally as a restored monarchy).
As for Obama “putting us in Africa” (see Obama, King of Africa Asia Times Online, October 18, 2011), those 100 special forces in Uganda billed as “advisers” should be seen as a liquid modernity remix of Vietnam in the early 1960s; that also started with a bunch of “advisers” – and the rest is history.
Murderous mystic crackpot Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is now a rag-tag bunch of no more than 400 warriors (they used to be over 2,000). They are on the run – and not even based in Uganda, but in South Sudan (now a Western protectorate), the Central African Republic and the long border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
So why Uganda? Enter London-based Heritage Oil, and its chairman Tony Buckingham, a former – you guessed it – “contractor” (ie mercenary). Here’s Heritage’s modus operandi, described by Buckingham himself; they deploy “a first mover strategy of entering regions with vast hydrocarbon wealth where we have a strategic advantage”.
Translation: wherever there’s foreign invasion, civil war, total breakdown of social order, there are big bucks to be made. Thus Heritage’s presence in Iraq, Libya and Uganda.
Profiting from post-war fog, Heritage signed juicy deals in Iraqi Kurdistan behind the back of the central government in Baghdad. In Libya, Heritage bought a 51% stake in a local company called Sahara Oil Services; this means it’s now directly involved in operating oil and gas licenses. Pressed about it, TNC honchos have tried to change the conversation, alleging that nothing is approved yet.
What’s certain is that Heritage barged into Libya via a former SAS commando, John Holmes, founder of Erinys, one of the top mercenary outfits in Iraq apart from Xe Services, former Blackwater. Holmes cunningly shipped the right bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label to Benghazi for the right TNC crooks, seducing them with Heritage’s mercenary know-how of enforcing “oil field security”.
Got contractor, will travel
Obama’s Uganda surge is also a classic Pipelineistan gambit. The possibly “billions of barrels” of oil reserves discovered recently in sub-Saharan Africa are located in the sensitive cross-border of Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Believe it or not, Heritage was the top oil company in Uganda up to 2009, drilling on Lake Albert – between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – and playing one country against another. Then they sold their license to Tullow Oil, essentially a spin-off, also owned by Buckingham, bagging $1.5 billion in the process and crucially not paying 30% of profits to Washington’s bastard, the government of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Enter Libya’s state oil company, Tamoil, which was part of a joint venture with the Ugandans to build a crucial oil pipeline to Kenya; Uganda is landlocked, and badly needs the pipeline when oil exports start next year. The NATO war on Libya paralyzed the Pipelineistan gambit. Now everything is open for business again. Tamoil may be out of the picture – but so may be other players.
Trying to sort out the mess, the parliament in Uganda – slightly before Obama’s announcement – decided to freeze all oil contracts, hitting France’s Total and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, but especially Tullow oil.
But now, with Obama’s special forces “advising” not only Uganda but also the neighbors, and linking up with Heritage – which is essentially a huge oil/mercenary outfit – it’s not hard to fathom where Uganda’s oil contracts will eventually land.
The Amazon rules
Unified Protector, Odyssey Dawn and all other metaphors Homeric or otherwise for the Africom/NATO 40,000-plus bombing of Libya have yielded the desired result; the destruction of the Libyan state (and much of the country’s infrastructure, to the delight of disaster capitalism vultures). It also delivered the lethal unintended consequence of those anti-aircraft missiles appropriated by Islamists – a supremely convincing reason for the “war on terror” in northern Africa to become eternal.
Washington couldn’t care less about R2P; as the Libyan Clinton hop shows, the only thing that matters is the excuse to “securitize” Libya’s arsenal – the perfect cover story for US contractors and Anglo-French intel ops to take over Libyan military bases.
The iron rule is that “free” Libya should be under the control of the “liberators”. Tell that to the “irregular militias”, not to mention the Abdelhakim Belhaj gang and his al-Qaeda assets now in military control of Tripoli.
It’s useful to remember that last Friday, the same day the US State Department announced it was sending “contractors” to Libya, was the day Obama announced his Uganda surge. And only two days later, Kenya invaded Somalia – once again under the R2P excuse of protecting civilians from Somali jihadis and pirates.
The US adventure in Somalia looks increasingly like a mix of Sophocles and the Marx Brothers. First there was the Ethiopian invasion (it failed miserably). Then the thousands of Ugandan soldiers sent by Museveni to fight al-Shabaab (partially failed; after all the Washington-backed “government” barely controls a neighborhood in Mogadishu).
Now the Kenyan invasion. A measure of the Central Intelligence Agency’s brilliance is that operatives have been on the ground for months alongside bundles of mercenaries. Soon some counter-insurgency hotshot in Washington praying in the altar of new CIA head David Petraeus will conclude that the only solution is an army of MQ-9 Reapers to drone Somalia to death.
The big picture remains the Pentagon’s Africom spreading its militarized tentacles against the lure of Chinese soft power in Africa, which goes something like this: in exchange for oil and minerals, we build anything you want, and we don’t try to sell you “democracy for dummies”.
The Bush administration woke up to this “threat” a bit too late – at Africom’s birth in 2008. Under the Obama administration, the mood is total panic. For Petraeus, the only thing that matters is “the long war” on steroids – from boots on the ground to armies of drones; and who are the Pentagon, the White House and the State Department to disagree?
Italian geographer and political scientist Manlio Dinucci is one of the few to point out how neo-colonialism 2.0 works; one just needs to look at the map. In Central Africa, the objective is US military supremacy – on air and in intel – over Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Libya, the objective is to occupy an absolutely strategic crossroads between the Mediterranean, northern Africa and the Middle East, with the added (nostalgic?) benefit of the West – as in Paris, London and Washington – finally getting to hold military bases as when King Idris was in power (1951 to 1969). As a whole, control must be established over northern Africa, central Africa, eastern Africa and – more problematically – the Horn of Africa.
The trillion-dollar question ahead is how China – which plots strategic moves years in advance – is going to react. As for Amazon Clinton, she must be beaming. In Iraq, Washington meticulously destroyed a whole country over two long decades just to end up with nothing – not even a substantial oil contract. Clinton at least got a private army – the “advisers” who will be stationed in the bigger-than-the-Vatican US Embassy in Baghdad.
And considering that Obama’s new African “advisers” will be paid by the State Department, now Clinton’s also got her own African private army. After November 2012, Clinton might well consider a move into the contractor business. In the sacred name of R2P, naturally.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
By Elias Biryabarema
KAMPALA (Reuters) – Uganda‘s energy minister said she expects to send three petroleum bills to parliament by the end of the year as the government moves quickly to put laws in place to regulate the country’s nascent oil sector before the start of production.
Earlier in the week, President Yoweri Museveni said he would discuss a parliamentary vote to delay UK exploration company Tullow Oil‘s planned sale of stakes in local oil fields, pledging to defend the country’s interests in the case.
Earlier this week, Uganda’s parliament passed a resolution urging the government to withhold consent for Tullow‘s proposed deal with France’s Total and China’s CNOOC until laws were in place to regulate the industry.
“We’re working very hard, and we expect that by the end of this year we’ll have brought the three bills — Resource Management Bill, Revenue Management Bill and Value Addition Management Bill — to parliament,” Energy Minister Irene Muloni told a news conference on Saturday.
“The problem is that I can’t control the process thereafter. So how fast the bills will be debated and passed into law will depend on parliament, but at least on my side we’re moving very quickly.”
Last year, Tullow agreed to sell stakes in its Ugandan assets to Chinese group CNOOC and French oil company Total for $2.9 billion.
In March, Tullow said Uganda had assessed taxes of $472 million on its earnings from the sale, and it was disputing that figure. It has since begun an arbitration process before a tax appeals tribunal in Kampala.
The company, meanwhile, has been awaiting final government approval for the partnership, which would allow it to move ahead with a project to develop oil reserves.
Endorsement of the deal is expected to kick start a $10 billion investment to develop the country’s oil fields and start production.
Muloni said government officials expected to extract more favourable terms from companies in future oil deals because the discovery of oil has diminished the exploration risk for oil firms.
“Before the discovery we didn’t know what we had. We didn’t know whether we had oil or not, and for an oil company to bring in a big investment they needed stabilisation clause,” she said.
“Now we’re operating with certainty, we have the oil. So when we’re negotiating new deals, we’ll put up tough positions on the table.”
Hydrocarbon deposits were discovered along Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.
- Tullow Denies Uganda Graft Charges (online.wsj.com)
- Why U.S. military in Uganda? Soros fingerprints all over it (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Uganda MPs vote to bar oil deals (bbc.co.uk)
- Graft Probe Claims Uganda Minister (online.wsj.com)
- 3 Officials Quit in Uganda Over Scandals (nytimes.com)
- (Updated 10-12) Ugandan Parliament Votes to Suspend Oil Deals on Corruption Charges (africommons.wordpress.com)
- Accused Uganda ministers resign (bbc.co.uk)
- Analysis: Rocky start for Uganda’s oil sector (danielberhane.wordpress.com)
- Oil in Kenya? (sahelblog.wordpress.com)