Daily Archives: September 28, 2009

Tom Burgis

By Tom Burgis, FT West Africa correspondent, in Lagos

The talks between a Chinese oil company and Nigeria about wresting some prime oil blocks sitting on 6bn barrels of crude from western energy groups raise some intriguing questions – even if officials warn that the deal is by no means sealed.

Firstly, the price. Oil men in Lagos talk of the Chinese putting $50bn on the table.

Secondly, how would the deal be structured? China has struck some huge bargains – in places such as Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo – to provide sorely needed infrastructure in return for the commodities on which its fast-industrialising economy runs.

But previous efforts to reach such agreements in Nigeria have ended in acrimony and Chinese oil groups appeared to have switched tack to buying stakes in listed producers such as Addax.

A third conundrum is how the Nigerian government could sell stakes in the two of the 23 blocks under discussion whose leases run until 2019. Similarly, the production-sharing contracts that cover the five offshore blocks end only in 2020. These, though, are meant to be restructured, in any case, under a bill designed to overhaul the Nigerian energy sector that is before the national assembly. Read more

William MacNamara

On Energy Source:

Geo-political tensions outweighed by sluggish demand as oil prices drop Read more

Ed Crooks

Rising tensions between Iran and the West were shrugged off by petroleum investors on Monday, as concerns over sluggish demand continued to weigh.

Crude prices remained under pressure in spite of weekend missile tests by Iran. The country had already come under scrutiny before the weekend after it was announced by UK, US and French officials that a nuclear facility was being built near Qum. Read more

India to launch energy-efficiency trading
Also plans fuel-efficiency standards for transport sector (FT)

Veolia’s Proglio set to be new head of EDF
France hopes to nominate foreign directors to board (FT) Read more