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Reserves-hungry majors return to frontier exploration in Africa’s deep waters

The need to maintain supplies of oil and gas in the face of growing competition from new players, and pressure to generate profits during a period when downstream margins are lacklustre, has led to an upsurge in activity by the majors in frontier...

Botswana: Transparency International ratings

Botswana has come out as the most transparent in Africa in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, placing 30th out of 175 countries. This delighted the government, which said it was down to the country’s “zero tolerance”...

North Africa Outlook: Time is running out for Libya’s interim institutions

Libya’s inability to resolve fundamental political questions feeds into a climate of instability, reflected in some of the most serious episodes of violence in Benghazi and Tripoli since the official declaration of liberation from the Al-Qadhafi...

Oman: Iran and Sultan Qaboos decrees

There is much interest in Oman’s role in the recent US-Iran rapprochement (see page 1) and, on 4 December, Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani is due in Muscat for talks with the senior leadership. On 21 November, Sultan Qaboos issued three...

Yemen: Security vacuum expands

The security vacuum in Yemen has continued to expand as political factions battle for control of the security forces. Insecurity is plaguing central provinces such as Dhamar, where, on 24 November, deputy governor Abdullah Mayseri was kidnapped,...

Oman: PDO corruption trial adjourned

A case relating to allegations of corruption at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) opened at Muscat Primary Court in mid-November, and was adjourned until early December. On trial are PDO tenders committee head Juma Al-Hinai, and two officials –...

FAC report tells UK to get tougher on Bahrain

The UK’s parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) published its long-awaited report on the UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on 22 November. It was broadly supportive of the government’s pursual of good relations with the Gulf,...

South Africa: City Power cleared of fraud and corruption

Johannesburg utility City Power has been cleared of all allegations of fraud and corruption relating to a tender awarded to Edison Power Group for advanced metering infrastructure in 2012. An independent review panel chaired by Vuyani Ngalwana...

Kosmos drilling plan stirs hornets’ nest in Western Sahara

Plans by Kosmos Energy and partner Cairn Energy to drill a well next year in a Moroccan-licensed block in the Western Sahara continue to provoke intense interest among oil companies excited by the disputed territory’s offshore potential, as well...

Mozambique looks to LNG exports as development bill mounts up

Former rebels of the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (Renamo) have dealt a blow to Mozambique’s efforts to position itself as a major investment success story and future gas exporter, abandoning their 1992 peace deal with the ruling Frente de...


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