GENEVA, Aug 19 (Reuters) – French oil major Total
said it had discovered gas condensate in deep waters off the
coast of Gabon, raising hopes for other explorers in the region.
The discovery, made in a layer of the ocean bed referred to
as pre-salt, follows other regional finds in Ghana and Ivory
Coast, where Total struck oil earlier this year.
GENEVA/ZURICH, Aug 7 (Reuters) – The Swiss authorities are
interrogating the extended family of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a Kazakh
oligarch arrested last week in France on fraud charges after 18
months on the run, and have effectively frozen some assets, a
A Swiss prosecutor said Kazakhstan had accused Swiss-based
Viktor Khrapunov, a former Kazakh government minister, mayor and
father-in-law of Ablyazov’s eldest daughter Madina – along with
his wife Leila – of using public money for property investments.
GENEVA, July 31 (Reuters) – Gabon has told the World Trade
Organization (WTO)that it will hold a licensing round for
offshore oil blocks later this year, and that it will bring in
new transparency requirements for its natural resources sector.
In a confidential document circulated during a two-day trade
policy review that ended on Wednesday, Gabon said it was
adopting a new hydrocarbon code which would provide a basis for
the new bid round.
GENEVA, July 26 (Reuters) – Trading giant Louis Dreyfus
plans to invest in assets ranging from orange groves to sugar
refiners, it said in the first glimpse of its strategy following
the departure of its long-serving CEO in June.
Privately-owned Louis Dreyfus outlined its plans in a
prospectus seen by Reuters as the firm seeks to raise 400
million euros ($529.4 million) via a five-year bond issue.
GENEVA/ABUJA July 23, (Reuters) – Nigeria has expanded its
list of fuel suppliers to include companies previously named in
a multi-billion dollar subsidy fraud investigation, sources
familiar with the matter said, while large global trading houses
have been left empty-handed.
Africa’s most populous country, which relies on fuel imports
because it lacks the capacity to refine its own crude oil, tried
to remove fuel subsidies last year but was forced to partially
reinstate them after a wave of strikes and protests.
ZURICH/GENEVA, July 17 (Reuters) – SGS SA, the
world’s biggest testing and inspection company, has warned it
may fall short of its ambitious growth forecasts because of a
slowdown in key European markets.
“There has been a distinct slowdown in Europe … and that’s
influenced a number of our businesses with a large European
presence,” Chief Executive Chris Kirk told a news conference,
adding the company may have to revisit its 2014 targets.
GENEVA, July 16 (Reuters) – Angola’s monthly crude exports
will slip in September to 1.67 million barrels per day (bpd), a
provisional shipping list showed, indicating that Africa’s
number two oil producer may struggle to reach an output target
for next year.
OPEC member Angola, which pumps nearly all of its oil from
offshore fields, was scheduled to export 1.70 million bpd in
Production from the southern African country has reached a
plateau in recent years, despite ambitions to boost output to at
least 2 million bpd. Oil minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos
was quoted as saying last year that Angola could increase
production to this level by 2014.
Flat output is mostly due to a natural decline in output of
some fields, such as the Exxon Mobil-operated field Xicomba,
although new volumes BP’s Pazflor have helped to offset
Reuters data shows that average monthly loadings are 1.72
million bpd in 2013 so far compared with top producer Nigeria’s
1.90 million bpd.
Output could jump if oil majors are successful in
discovering fresh oil in the Kwanza Basin seabed, a region
deemed to have a similar geology to Brazil where large fields
containing high-quality light oil have been discovered.
“The 2 million bpd production figure seems ambitious.
Production is also partly based on demand from different parts
of the globe and that figure seems high based on current trade
flows,” said Rolake Akinkugbe, head of oil and gas research at
In a worrying development for Angola, which earns over 95
percent of export revenues from oil, Asian demand for West
African crude has slowed in recent weeks. This is partly due to
a stronger premium of Brent to Dubai grades – an indicator of
export profitability to Asia.
The total volume of around 50 million barrels will be
exported on 52 tankers, the programme showed.
The shipping list indicated that the number of tankers from
two of the largest fields, Plutonio and Dalia, would be
unchanged at six in September.
There will be no cargoes of Gimboa in September, it showed.For a chart of Angolan exports by grade, see below:
**ANGOLAN Cargoes Barrels
MONTHLY per day
Cabinda 5 158,000
Girassol 5 167,000
Palanca 1 33,000
Nemba 6 190,000
Saturno 3 95,000
Xicomba 0 0
Kuito 1 31,000
Dalia 6 190,000
Hungo 5 158,000
Plutonio 6 200,000
Mondo 1 32,000
Kissanje 4 127,000
Saxi 2 63,000
Pazflor 7 222,000
Gimboa 0 0
TOTAL* 52 1,670,000
* Figures may be subject to rounding errors
** Loading programmes may be revised and are subject to change
GENEVA, July 11 (Reuters) – African governments should give
more support to entrepreneurs to help boost regional trade
flows, to allow businesses to benefit from growing consumer
demand and insulate the continent from global financial crises,
a U.N. study said on Thursday.
In a break with past recommendations on African trade, the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said
boosting regional trade would require solutions that do more
than simply remove trade barriers.
GENEVA, July 9 (Reuters) – The Swiss canton of Geneva,
pressured by EU demands to end tax breaks, cannot guarantee its
proposal for a tax compromise will get through, its finance
minister said, even though trading houses said less attractive
conditions could drive them away.
In April the co-owner of Gunvor, Gennady Timchenko, said it
could move to Singapore, a rival commodity trading hub, if
Switzerland became less attractive.
VIENNA/GENEVA (Reuters) – Bolivia on Wednesday accused the United States of trying to “kidnap” its president, Evo Morales, after his plane was denied permission to fly over some European countries then inspected at Vienna airport on suspicion he was taking fugitive U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden to Latin America.
Snowden was not on the plane and is still believed to be stranded in the transit lounge of a Moscow airport. The United States has been trying to get its hands on him since he revealed details of its secret surveillance programs last month.