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Report forecasts ‘dominant’ role for gas in Africa’s power mix

By: Terence Creamer Gas has the potential to account for more than 40% of the electricity generated in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from 2020 onwards, a new report by McKinsey & Company shows, adding that, by 2040, gas-fired capacity could be responsible for more than 700 terawatt-hours in the region. The study projects... 

Cost reduction, efficiency important for mines as oil price takes nosedive

By: Zandile Mavuso The recent unexpected drop in oil prices will result in mining companies experiencing slow growth and increased pressures in sustaining productivity, says fleet management software and services company MiX Telematics, noting further that cost reduction and efficiency through fleet management... 

Price slump seen prompting review of African oil and gas explorers’ expenditure plans

By: Zandile Mavuso Oil and gas explorers in Africa will be looking at their budgets and deciding where to allocate their limited capital spend, given the substantial decline in the oil price, as low oil prices could have an impact on production, while undermining certain players in the market, says advisory firm... 

Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline, leaving it in limbo

By: Reuters President Barack Obama on Tuesday, as promised, swiftly vetoed a Republican bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, leaving the long-debated project in limbo for another indefinite period. The US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, after receiving Obama's veto message, immediately... 

M&R accelerates Clough’s globalisation as Australian LNG workflow tapers

By: Terence Creamer Engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) has signalled its intention to accelerate the internationalisation of its Australia-based oil and gas unit, Clough – a strategy underpinned by a dramatic tapering off of greenfield liquefied natural gas (LNG) megaprojects in Australia and... 

M&R accelerates Clough’s globalisation as Australian LNG workflow tapers
Clough CEO Kevin Gallagher

DMR to spend R4.1-billion in compliance crackdown

By: Natalie Greve Clamping down on noncompliant mining companies, the Department of Mineral Resources  (DMR) plans to spend some R4.1-billion, or 81.4% of its total budget, on enforcing compliance with legislation and promoting sustainable resource use and management over the current medium-term expenditure... 

DMR to spend R4.1-billion in compliance crackdown

NSW Senate Committee’s gas report draws praise and criticism

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The New South Wales Senate Committee on the supply and cost of gas and liquid fuels has proposed the introduction of an Australia-wide gas reservation policy to assist in containing gas prices and to ensure security of supply. The committee, which published its final report on Wednesday, added... 

NSW Senate Committee’s gas report draws praise and criticism

South32 catalyst for next wave of productivity gains – BHP Billiton

By: Martin Creamer Mining giant BHP Billiton, which pulled a free cash flow rabbit out of the thrashed commodity price hat in the six months to December 31, intends the spinoff of South32 to be the catalyst for the new wave of productivity gains in the period ahead “because if you keep doing the same thing, you... 

South32 catalyst for next wave of productivity gains – BHP Billiton
Photo by Duane Daws
Peter Beaven

Oil Search profits surge

By: Esmarie Swanepoel A near tripling of production has resulted in ASX-listed Oil Search reporting a 72% increase in net profit after tax, despite the dismal oil price. With the successful delivery of the Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (PNG LNG) project, Oil Search’ production soared by 186% during the full... 

EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index falls 12% in Q4, lower oil prices provide some respite

By: Henry Lazenby Global professional services firm EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index fell 12% in the quarter ended December 31, compared with a 15% decline in the prior period. The index underperformed against the S&P/TSX Composite index, which fell 2% in the last quarter of 2014, while the London Metal Exchange... 

EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index falls 12% in Q4, lower oil prices provide some respite

Ivanhoe Energy files for creditor protection, stock suspended from Nasdaq, TSX

By: Henry Lazenby Heavy-oil exploration and development company Ivanhoe Energy would not appeal a decision by the Listing Qualifications Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market to delist the company’s shares on March 3, after Ivanhoe on Friday announced that it would file for creditor protection under the Bankruptcy... 

Freeport CEO says unlikely to sell assets

By: Reuters Freeport-McMoRan is unlikely to sell oil, gas and copper assets in the current market as buyers are unwilling to pay good prices for quality assets due to weak commodities prices, the company's chief executive said on Monday. "The idea of property sales is not a likely outcome," Freeport CEO... 

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AWE warns of oil hit on profits

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed oil and gas company AWE on Monday warned of a A$50.1-million noncash impairment charge in its interim results for the period ended December. The impairment charge reflected the impact of lower oil prices on the carrying value of oil producing assets, AWE said, which resulted in... 

Freeport-McMoRan targets immediate commercial at Highlander discovery

By: Henry Lazenby Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas (FM O&G), the subsidiary of NYSE-listed Freeport-McMoRan, will immediately establish commercial production from its Highlander discovery, onshore in South Louisiana, after “highly favourable reservoir characteristics” were obtained from a production test. The test,... 

Underlying performance strong, despite FY loss – Santos CEO

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Oil and gas giant Santos on Friday reported a net loss of A$935-million for the year ended December, after reporting a A$1.5-billion noncash impairment charge. This compared with a net profit of A$516-million in the previous financial year. 

Underlying performance strong, despite FY loss – Santos CEO

Origin faces tough year

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Origin Energy has swung into the red, with the company reporting a statutory loss of A$25-million for the first half of 2015, compared with a profit of A$322-million in the previous corresponding period. The oil and gas producer on Thursday reported a A$53-million impairment on its... 

Parliamentary minerals law review limited to four points

By: Martin Creamer The review of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill would be restricted to four recommendations and the focus would be on whether or not these passed constitutional and procedural muster, Mineral Resources Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chairperson... 

Parliamentary minerals law review limited to four points
Photo by Duane Daws
Ngoako Ramatlhodi

Woodside boosts FY profit 38% to $2.4bn

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Oil and gas major Woodside on Wednesday reported its second-highest net profit after tax for the full-year ended December of $2.41-billion. This was a 38% increase on the 2013 figure of $1.74-billion, and second only to the 2012 results which included a sale of portion of Woodside’s equity in... 

Shale gas an ‘unlikely’ prospect, not necessarily cheap – WWF-SA 

By: Natalie Greve A preliminary report by the World Wide Fund for Nature-South Africa (WWF-SA) has described shale gas as a marginal resource that remains reliant on a high gas or oil price and reasonable tax incentives, and may not provide as “cheap” a source of domestic energy as contended by private firms and... 

Shale gas an ‘unlikely’ prospect, not necessarily cheap – WWF-SA

Mines are development engines for host countries – ICMM

By: Martin Creamer Mines are proven engines of economic development for host countries, which benefit significantly from the foreign direct investment (FDI) that mines attract as well as the export earnings that they generate, the International Council for Mining & Metals (ICMM) has found in a unique 214-country... 

Mines are development engines for host countries – ICMM
Photo by Creamer Media
Martin Creamer and Tony Hodge

Opposition calls on President to back Minister on developmental pricing issue

By: Martin Creamer Amidst apparent disagreement in his Cabinet about mining policy, President Jacob Zuma needed to step in and provide leadership so that potential mining investors had certainty about South Africa’s mining policy, Shadow Democratic Alliance (DA) Mineral Resources Minister James Lorimer has urged in... 

Opposition calls on President to back Minister on developmental pricing issue
Photo by DA.org.za
James Lorimer

Good governments assume lower commodity prices  

By: Martin Creamer The governments of resource-rich countries should base their financial planning on commodity prices that are lower than the year prior. Should actual commodity prices eventuate that are higher than those assumed, the additional revenue from the higher prices should be treated as a bonus and spent... 

Good governments assume lower commodity prices
Photo by Bloomberg
Jim O'Neill

BHP agrees to sell Pakistan gas business

By: Reuters BHP Billiton has agreed to sell its Pakistan gas business to a local firm, a unit of the Hashoo Group, for an undisclosed sum, the global miner said on Monday. "The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015," BHP said in an emailed... 

Union says no new strike notices issued to US refineries

By: Reuters The United Steelworkers union (USW) said no new strike notices were issued on Friday as the largest US refinery strike since 1980 reached its 13th day. About 5 400 workers at 11 plants, including nine refineries accounting for 13% of US production capacity, were on strike with no signs of an... 

Pura Vida raises cash

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Emerging oil explorer Pura Vida Energy is hoping to raise A$4-million through a share placement, as the company starts a drilling campaign offshore Morocco. The junior reported on Friday that it would issue about 11.15-million shares, at 36c each, to raise the capital. 

Sherritt posts bigger-than-expected loss as nickel prices fall

By: Reuters Canadian miner Sherritt International reported a much wider-than-expected quarterly loss as nickel prices fell due to a supply glut and weak demand from China. Nickel prices fell 15% in the fourth quarter, from the third, and are down nearly 30% since May. 

Teck Resources on the rise despite lower earnings forecast

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources has reported a significantly narrower fourth-quarter adjusted profit as lower copper and steelmaking coal prices have dented the company’s financial performance. For the three months ended December 31, Teck reported net profit, excluding special items of... 

Santos sees $1.6bn impairment charge on oil plunge

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Oil and gas major Santos would report a noncash impairment charge of $1.6-billion in its 2014 financial results, the company said on Thursday, just days after warning of significant job cuts. The ASX-listed company said on Thursday that the impairment charges reflected the lower oil price... 

TransCanada disagrees with EPA argument regarding Keystone XL pipeline 

By: Henry Lazenby The proponent of the $8-billion Keystone XL pipeline TransCanada Corp has disagreed with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recent comment that the State Department's final supplemental environmental impact statement (FSEIS) for the project should be revisited in light of the lower... 

TransCanada disagrees with EPA argument regarding Keystone XL pipeline

First gas from APLNG reaches Curtis Island

By: Esmarie Swanepoel First gas from the Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas (APLNG) project in the Surat basin has reached the Curtis Island LNG facility, in Queensland, operator Origin Energy reported on Wednesday. The arrival of the first gas to the LNG facility marked the completion of commissioning of the... 

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