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MAURITANIA

Upstream-to-green power company Chariot is in talks to bring in a major investor to its planned 10-gigawatt green hydrogen development in Mauritania and could wrap up a deal in early 2022. In September, Chariot stated it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government in Nouakchott to progress the potential green hydrogen scheme, which is named Project Nour. The proposed project covers two exclusive onshore solar licenses and an offshore wind tract, which cover a total area of about 14,400 km2. Chariot’s acting Chief Executive Adonis Pouroulis said Chariot does not have the balance sheet to progress Project Nour on its own, so it needs a big player with a solid financial base and will be developed by a consortium.

Pre-feasibility studies are underway to drill down into the project requirements and flag up any issues related to the environmental impact of the project. Pouroulis said this work will help assess the environmental impact of installing so much wind and solar infrastructure on things such as land use, soil erosion and bird migration. Power from the solar panels and wind farm would be sent to a desalination plant on the coast to generate clean water for electrolysis — the process through which hydrogen is produced.

NIGERIA

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Alhaji Mele Kyari has dispelled talks of a potential fuel scarcity during the festive season. He assured Nigerians that there will be no hitch in the supply of petroleum products while speaking at the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria 2021 Strategic International Conference. Alhaji Kyari stated that the country has over 1.7 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirits and another 2.3 billion litres coming into the country, hence no cause for fear of scarcity or need for panic buying.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, stated that many oil and gas projects will commence in the country, following the signing of over $42 billion worth of investment agreements at the recently concluded Intra African Trade Fair held in South Africa. H.E. Sylva said that with the Petroleum Industry Act currently in place, supported by enabling structures to ease doing business, new Final Investment Decisions should begin to happen rapidly in the country’s oil and gas industry. He noted that the country needs these new projects to increase production output, grow national revenues, engage the local supply chain, create more employment for Nigerians and promote National Security. Minister Sylva also expressed that the Federal Government remained committed to supporting and promoting investment in gas as the nation’s transition fuel as it forms the basis for Nigeria’s Decade of Gas.

GLOBAL

On December 2, oil prices rebounded from two days of heavy selling, after a lack of compelling news on COVID’s Omicron variant, and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) stuck to the number of barrels it planned to roll out in January. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled up 93 cents at 66.50 a barrel, while Brent crude futures settled up 80 cents at $69.67. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly report for December 1 showed that crude oil inventories decreased by 0.9 million barrels from the previous week. At 433.1 million barrels, crude inventories are about 6% below the five-year average for this time of year.

Oil futures rebuilt the rally by the end of the day due to the combination of uncertainty around the Omicron variant, efforts by governments to stem the tide of new infections and expectations for more supply kept traders on their toes. The market sold off dramatically after OPEC+ issued a bit of a surprise by sticking to plans to boost monthly output by 400,000 barrels per day. Crude traders, probably weary from hammering the market down by almost 20% over the past week, decided to reward OPEC+ by sending crude prices higher. Another reason for the rebound is a lack of market-moving news on the Omicron variant, which also allowed stocks on Wall Street to creep higher.