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Daily Energy News

Companies

Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex has unveiled its 2019-2024 strategy. The group aims to increase oil and gas exploration and to accelerate the development of new discoveries, in order to reverse its declining crude oil production (from 2,788 kb/d in 2014 to 2,071 kb/d in 2018) and reach 2,480 kb/d on average in 2024 and 2,654 kb/d at the end of 2024.

Brazil’s state-run oil and gas company Petrobras has approved the sale of an additional stake in its fuel distribution subsidiary BR Distribuidora, that will be carried out through a secondary public offering (follow-on). The group, which currently owns 71.25% in the company, plans to reduce its interest to less than 50%.

The British energy group SSE has decided to divest its energy supply and energy-related services subsidiary SSE Energy Services by mid-2020, due to the decline in customer numbers, disappointing results and the failure of the proposed merger with npower. SSE Energy Services' profit collapsed (-84%) in 2018-2019 (April 2018-March 2019) to £35.3m (€40m), as the company lost 570,000 customer accounts (360,000 electricity customers and 210,000 gas customers) and their average energy consumption contracted.

Indian state-owned oil and gas group Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) plans to invest INR 65,773 crore (more than US$9.4bn) to increase oil and gas production in India at 13 field development projects and three Enhanced Oil Recovery/Improved Oil Recovery (EOR/IOR) projects.

Policy & Regulatory

The Federal government of Germany has approved the key points of the structural funding programme for coal mining regions. The government will make available a €40bn financial support for the regions affected by the coal exit by 2038, to ensure the further development of the former lignite mining areas in the Lausitz region (accross Brandenburg and Saxony), west of Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia and around Leipzig (Saxony), Halle and Helmstedt (Saxony-Anhalt).

The newly-elected government of Alberta, one of the main crude oil producing provinces of Canada, has introduced a bill to repeal the provincial carbon tax that was approved by the previous Alberta government, a measure that should provide a CAD1.4bn (US$1bn) tax relief. With this provincial carbon tax repealed, Alberta will have to pay the federal "backstop"carbon tax announced in October 2018 and that will be imposed in the provinces and territories that have no adequate carbon emission pricing plans and refused to adopt the country-wide CO2 pricing system.

Infrastructure & Investments

The government of Bulgaria has officially launched a call for expressions of interest for a strategic investor and/or acquisition of a minority shareholding and/or purchase of electricity for the 2,000 MW Belene nuclear power project in northern Bulgaria. The €10bn project should be developed by a special company, in which national nuclear operator Natsionalna Elektricheska Kompania (NEK) will own a stake.

Bulgaria has officially started the construction of the 3 bcm/year Interconnection Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) gas pipeline project, that will stretch between Stara Zagora (Bulgaria) and Komotini (Greece) and will help diversify gas supplies in southeastern Europe.

The World Bank, through the International Development Association (IDA), has approved a US$350m loan to fund Nigeria's Rural Electrification Project, which aims to expand electricity access to rural communites and educational institutions (universities and teaching hospitals). The 30-year loan will be managed by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and will leverage private investments in solar mini grids and standalone solar systems. It is expected to help provide electricity to about 2.5 million people and 70,000 small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$129m financial support to the 130 MW Kandadji hydropower project in the Tillabery region of Niger. The dam project is led by the High Commission for the Development of the Niger Valley. It is expected to be developed over a 6-year period until 2025 and to generate around 630 GWh/year. The reservoir will also increase access to water for agriculture.