Murphy, OMV to search for oil

US-based Murphy Oil and Austria’s OMV would join the search for oil and gas off the coast of Namibia, petroleum commissioner Immanuel Mulunga said yesterday. He said the deal involving block 2613 A&B had been approved by Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali, but it was not clear if all the parties had signed it. Brazilian explorer Cowan, which holds 85 percent of the blocks, would cede 45 percent to Murphy and 20 percent to OMV, and Murphy would be the new operator in the block, state officials said. – Reuters


Power short for mining firms

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo has told mining companies to halt any expansion plans requiring extra power in Katanga province due to an “energy crisis”. In a January letter to President Joseph Kabila and government ministers, Ponyo said power utility SNEL should not grant new energy contracts for mining firms nor allow changes to contracts. He added that “mining clients [should] postpone… any expansion project requiring additional energy”. – Reuters


Germany urged to lift warning

Egypt is urging Germany to ease its advice against travel to the entire Sinai peninsula after last month’s fatal bombing of a tourist bus prompted operators to pull German holidaymakers from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh last week. “The latest crisis is the negative travel advisory by the German government,” Egypt’s Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said at a travel fair in Berlin on Wednesday. – Reuters