Oil production set for boom

The Republic of Congo is set to reverse a decline in production and climb to become sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil producer within three years as investors plough billions of dollars into new projects. Geologists have drawn parallels between the west African coastline and the geology of offshore Brazil, where billions of barrels in oil reserves are tucked beneath a submerged salt crust layer. In February, Eni said it had struck so-called “pre-salt” oil in Congo’s Nene Marine fields and estimated total reserves at 1.2 billion barrels of oil and 30 billion cubic metres of gas. Congo is set to leapfrog Equatorial Guinea as Africa’s third-largest producer by 2017. – Reuters


Major oilfields still offline

Libya’s major western oilfields, El Sharara and El Feel, were still shut a week after the government said it had reached a deal with protesters to reopen them but the 30 000-barrel-a-day Wafa field was producing, a senior source at the National Oil Corporation said yesterday. At the start of last week, the government said protesters, who were blocking pipelines connecting the fields to ports, had agreed to leave. However, only the Wafa oilfield has been restarted. The source said three main eastern ports were still open. – Reuters


World Bank offers support

The World Bank will give Madagascar $400 million (R4.1 billion) in financial support over three years, after recently restoring ties following a peaceful election, while the EU said it was resuming full relations. The World Bank said in March it was normalising relations after suspending budgetary support during a five-year political crisis triggered by a 2009 coup. Other donors have also moved to restore ties following the smooth election of President Hery Rajaonarimampianina in December last year. – Reuters