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Africa Energy Update

May 13, 2015

The latest news on legal and regulatory developments in Africa's energy sector with perspectives from our offices in New York, Washington and London. This third Africa energy update focuses on North Africa, Africa's most mature oil and gas province and an established market for power developers and renewable energy projects. Future updates will focus on other regions as we seek to provide clients and contacts doing business in Africa with current updates on what is a fast-changing market.

Bracewell Alerts and Publications 

North Africa: Regional enforcement snapshot
Energy Legal Blog®. 12 May 15 
Attorneys from our white collar, internal investigations and regulatory enforcement team profile recent enforcement actions in the North African states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan and Egypt. The report illustrates the need for ongoing caution from investors in the energy sector in the region.

Egypt: the Race to Get FiT
Energy Legal Blog®. 12 May 15 
The Government of Egypt has said that it must invest US$12 billion in the electricity sector over the next five years in order to meet the country's urgent electricity demands. Renewable energy will be a key component, with investment in the sector anticipated to exceed US$10 billion.

Risk analysis: Libya's oil and gas market
Energy Legal Blog®. 12 May 15 
Libya is reputed to hold the ninth largest proven oil reserves in the world (approximately 38% of Africa's total proven crude reserves)[1] making it a key player in the global energy market. Since 2011 however, the country and its energy sector has been in turmoil and there are currently two rival governments struggling for control over Libyan territory and resources. In this article, we highlight the five major legal risks currently facing companies operating in the territory (or indeed outside when handling Libyan crude exports).

Progress report: Shale play in Algeria
Energy Legal Blog®. 12 May 15 
The 2013 amendments to Algeria's 2005 Hydrocarbon Law (the "Law") provided a legislative framework for the exploration and production of unconventional hydrocarbons. In addition to wider changes to the Law designed to revive foreign investment in Algeria’s oil and gas sector, the amendments were expected to kick-start exploitation of Algeria's estimated 707tcf and 5.7 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale gas and oil reserves (estimated to be the world's third largest).

Egypt: floating regasification to solve gas shortages
Energy Legal Blog®. 13 May 15
Facing shortages in its domestic gas supplies, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), Egypt’s state-owned gas company, has opted to install floating regasification facilities in the Ain Sokhna port and received its first LNG cargo in April 2015. This article considers why floating regasification offered an effective solution to the supply challenges faced in Egypt, as well as exploring some of the wider reasoning that lies behind the recent surge in global use of such facilities.  


On 13 May, H.E. Eng. Sherif Ismail, Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources, Arab Republic of Egypt will attend our Houston offices as part of the Leadership Insight Series organised by the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce. The Minister will deliver a keynote address giving his first hand insights into the current and projected opportunities available for stakeholders looking to capitalize on current or planned investments in the Egyptian petroleum market. Click here for examples of our experience in Egypt.

Breakfast Roundtable - Doing oil and gas deals in emerging markets - Join Ben James, Darren Spalding and other partners at our Houston office on 20 of May to share thoughts and experiences on getting emerging markets deals done in today's conditions.

Africa Energy Forum - Join Clint Steyn, Rob Harker and Simon Stevens in at this year's Africa Energy Forum in Dubai on 8-11 June.

In the news

Oil and Gas
Algeria plans oil and gas bidding round by Q3 2015
Reuters. 14 Dec 15 
Algeria will open a new round of bidding for investment in its oil and gas fields by the third quarter of 2015 and may improve the terms for companies, the head of state energy company Sonatrach said. Sonatrach's interim chief, Said Sahnoun, said Algeria was considering improving terms to attract more interest after the last round in September awarded just four out of 31 blocks on offer.

Gas Deal With BP Puts Egypt Back On Energy Map
Oilprice.com. 9 March 15
Egypt's deal with BP to jointly invest $12 billion to develop offshore gas fields shows that oil companies’ faith in the country's political stability is gradually being restored.  London-based BP said March 6 that it plans to work at the West Nile Delta (WND) field with hopes of extracting 5 trillion cubic feet of gas resources and 55 million barrels of condensates, the equivalent of about one-fourth of Egypt's total output, and that further offshore exploration could double production.

Power and Renewables 
Egypt, Sudan Edge Toward Cooperation on Ethiopia's Nile Dam
Bloomberg. 24 March 15
Egypt and Sudan took another step toward cooperating with Ethiopia on the hydro-power dam it's building on the Blue Nile river after the three nations' leaders signed an accord on Monday. The countries agreed that the river's waters should be used in a way that doesn't cause "significant damage" to any of them and that any disputes will be resolved through negotiations, according to a copy of the "declaration of principles" published by Ahram Online, a state-owned Egyptian news website. 

Algeria Aims for 13.5 GW of Solar Power by 2030
CleanTechnica. 28 Feb 15
Algeria is the leading natural gas producer in Africa and is the second-largest supplier of gas to Europe, but that is not slowing down the North African country's plan to ramp up solar power generation. Although some critics claim Algeria has not harvested enough of the country's fossil fuels, such criticism has not stopped the country's energy minister, Youcef Yousfi, from announcing a plan to install 13.5 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity by 2030.

Tunisia: HPR Adopts Draft Law On Electricity Production
Tunis — The House of People's Representative (HPR) adopted, Wednesday, during a plenary session in Bardo, the draft law related to the production of electricity from renewable energy. Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining Zakaria Hamad said Tunisia aims to produce 30% of electricity from renewable energy, the equivalent of 3,800 megawatts, with investment of 14 billion dinars.

EU, Rabat Sign Agreement to Fund Solar Energy Complex
Latin American Herald Tribune
RABAT – European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete signed a financing agreement in Rabat on Thursday worth 42 million euros (roughly $47 million) to construct the third phase of a solar energy complex in southern Morocco, one of the largest in Africa with a production capacity of 150 megawatts.

Egypt's Sisi outlines national energy policy at World Future Energy Summit
Platts. 21 Jan 15
Egypt has set development and reform of its energy sector as a key priority as it seeks to rebuild its economy following the country's second revolution in the past few years, the country's president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, said January 19 during his first official visit to the UAE in that role.

Morocco Seeks to Strengthen Energy Cooperation with Russia
Morocco World News. 28 April 15
Morocco is seeking cooperation with Russia, a major energy supplier, to develop its natural gas industry. The kingdom announced in December plans to spend $4.6 billion in order to intensify the search for natural gas.


The 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project was awarded African Renewables Deal of the Year 2014 by Project Finance International. Bracewell & Giuliani's London-based energy team was involved in the project on behalf of Vestas Eastern Africa Limited, who will supply and install the 365 Vestas V52-850 kW wind turbines and provide long-term maintenance of the wind turbines in contract with Lake Turkana Wind Power Limited.


Our Africa team is comprised of leading lawyers exclusively dedicated to the energy sector, making us unique in the market. We have shared our experiences to develop an offering which we believe is unique and better for clients. When you work with us you know the entire team is immersed in your industry.

Our oil and gas experience includes advising on all segments of the industry, from upstream exploration and production, to midstream pipelines, transportation and storage, including LNG, and downstream refining and marketing.

Our experience in the power industry includes acting on some of the world’s largest and most innovative conventional power projects and also comprises deep knowledge of the renewables sector, including solar, wind, hydro and thermal.