Mexico’s National Hydrocarbon Commission (Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos) (“CNH”) announced on May 11 the terms for the third bid of Round One. Unlike the two earlier bids which covered 19 shallow water areas, the third bid covers 26 onshore areas that contain approximately 2.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) most of them with 3P reserves. (more…)
WE KNOW ENERGY®
Manuel Vera, David Rain and Jesse Wallin
Facing shortages in its domestic gas supplies, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), Egypt’s state-owned gas company, has opted to install floating regasification facilities in the Ain Sokhna port and received its first LNG cargo in April 2015. This article considers why floating regasification offered an effective solution to the supply challenges faced in Egypt, as well as exploring some of the wider reasoning that lies behind the recent surge in global use of such facilities. (more…)
Ben James and Paul Jones
The 2013 amendments to Algeria’s 2005 Hydrocarbon Law (the “Law”) provided a legislative framework for the exploration and production of unconventional hydrocarbons. In addition to wider changes to the Law designed to revive foreign investment in Algeria’s oil and gas sector, the amendments were expected to kick-start exploitation of Algeria’s estimated 707tcf and 5.7 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale gas and oil reserves (estimated to be the world’s third largest). (more…)
Ben James, Paul Jones and Jesse Wallin
Libya is reputed to hold the ninth largest proven oil reserves in the world (approximately 38% of Africa’s total proven crude reserves) making it a key player in the global energy market. Since 2011 however, the country and its energy sector has been in turmoil and there are currently two rival governments struggling for control over Libyan territory and resources. In this article, we highlight the five major legal risks currently facing companies operating in the territory (or indeed outside when handling Libyan crude exports). (more…)
Tracy London and Tom Swarbrick
The Government of Egypt has said that it must invest US$12 billion in the electricity sector over the next five years in order to meet the country’s urgent electricity demands. Renewable energy will be a key component, with investment in the sector anticipated to exceed US$10 billion.
In recent years, renewable energy projects in Egypt have been developed under four separate schemes. Two have followed a competitive bid process. Under the first scheme, the New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) procured 750 MW of wind power capacity and a further 10 MW of solar capacity. Under the second scheme, Egypt has sought to procure 450 MW of renewable energy supply on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis. (more…)
Philip Bezanson, Glen Kopp and Carolyn Robbs Bilanko
Attorneys from our white collar, internal investigations and regulatory enforcement team profile recent enforcement actions in the North African states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan and Egypt. The report illustrates the need for ongoing caution from investors in the energy sector in the region.
- Morocco scored 39 on the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014 (hereafter the “International Corruption Index”), with 0 being “highly corrupt” and 100 being “very clean.” US regulators use the International Corruption Index as an indicator for directing investigation resources and for justifying countries that should receive additional scrutiny by corporate compliance departments.
- In its first FCPA enforcement action of the year, on January 22, 2015, the SEC reached a deferred prosecution agreement with The PBSJ Corporation. An officer for the Florida-based engineering and construction firm had offered to funnel funds to a company owned and controlled by a foreign official in order to secure two multi-million dollar Qatari government contracts for PBSJ in 2009. The foreign official subsequently provided the officer and PBSJ’s international subsidiary with access to confidential sealed-bid and pricing information that enabled the PBSJ subsidiary to tender winning bids for a hotel resort development project in Morocco and a light rail transit project in Qatar. The officer also offered employment to a second foreign official in return for assistance as the bribery scheme began to unravel and PBSJ lost the hotel resort contract. Once PBSJ uncovered the misconduct, it self-reported the incidents to the SEC, and agreed to pay $3.4 million in financial remedies.
- Political corruption and instability: Since ascending to the throne on July 23, 1999, King Mohammad VI has enacted a range of social, democratic, and economic reforms that have left Morocco more liberalized and stable than many of its neighbors. However, the royals retain control in a vast number of businesses in the area, and widespread corruption undermines investor sentiment and increases business costs.