Verity Ratcliffe

Middle East & North Africa editor

Verity Ratcliffe joined Interfax in May 2015 from the BBC, where she wrote business and economics news. She previously covered power and renewable energy for Middle East Economic Digest for three years from Dubai and has written for the Financial Times and Bloomberg, among others.

Email: +44 (0)20 3004 6216
Petroceltic’s Algeria AT-9 well. Algeria is pushing to increase its gas output. (Petroceltic)

Algerian energy minister continues shake-up

The head of the Algerian oil and gas licensing agency, Alnaft, has been replaced in what could be a sign of sweeping changes to come.

24 March 2017
Drilling in Algeria’s Arzew region. The country is hoping to promote exploration. (Sonatrach)

Algeria’s big exploration push

Algeria is going all out to attract investment from IOCs in its upstream sector in an attempt to boost oil and gas production in the long term.

23 March 2017
A new CEO could mean further changes are ahead for Sonatrach. (Sonatrach)

More change at Sonatrach clouds future plans

The appointment of a new CEO at Sonatrach, the Algerian company’s sixth in the last seven years, casts further uncertainty over its strategic direction.

22 March 2017
The Balhaf LNG export plant has been largely untouched by the war, but pipelines have been targeted. (Yemen LNG)

Yemen LNG unlikely to restart anytime soon

Yemen's Saudi-backed government claims it has entered into fruitful discussions with IOCs, but the Balhaf LNG plant is not likely to be back online imminently.

20 March 2017

Saudi rig count continues falling but remains high

The number of rigs targeting gas in Saudi Arabia has fallen every month since October but is still higher than before oil prices started to drop.

16 March 2017
A Woodside seismic survey ship. The company is one of a number of IOCs exploring off Morocco. (Woodside)

Moroccan offshore exploration at a crossroads

IOCs exploring off Morocco are consolidating their positions, but the future of the country’s offshore sector is still far from certain.

15 March 2017
Source: Enagas, Snam Rete Gas, Interfax

Low Algerian volumes hit African pipeline exports

North African pipeline exports to Europe fell by 0.9% in Week 10 from a week earlier as a result of lower Algerian exports.

14 March 2017
Aramco’s Ju’aymah gas plant. Saudi Arabia will need shale to double its gas supply. (Aramco)

Saudi Arabia to start shale production by year-end

Saudi Arabia’s first shale gas will be produced in the northwest of the country, but its eastern region holds the most promise.

10 March 2017
The Sur independent power plant in Oman. Some IPP contracts are due to expire soon. (Phoenix Power Oman)

Oman sets out electricity sector reforms

Changes to Oman’s power sector will affect plants in operation, future projects and the way electricity is supplied to the country’s single buyer.

7 March 2017
Source: Enagas, Snam Rete Gas, Interfax

African pipeline exports fall for all but Trans-Med

North African pipeline exports to Europe fell by 1.4% week on week in Week 9, to 930.8 million cubic metres.

7 March 2017
Algeria is keen to develop its offshore resources, but IOCs may find onshore reserves more attractive. (Anadarko)

Algeria attempts offshore exploration revival

Eni, ExxonMobil and others have been approached by Sonatrach in an attempt to develop Algeria’s largely unexplored offshore sector.

3 March 2017
Drilling in the Tendrara area in Morocco. Sound may be able to produce 1 bcm/y by Q2 2019. (Sound Energy)

Domestic gas may sway Morocco on LNG project

Discoveries by Sound Energy could lead Morocco to rethink its LNG import plans, but proceeding would allow it to keep its options open.

1 March 2017

Drop in Algerian volumes hits African pipeline exports

North African pipeline exports to Europe fell by 2.3% last week from the previous week, to 944.1 million cubic metres, as volumes through Algerian pipelines dropped.

28 February 2017
Tesla’s Model S on show in China. Dubai has ordered 200 EVs from the company. (Tesla)

Tesla taxis show shape of Dubai’s EV ambitions

Dubai is looking to take the lead in electric vehicle use in the UAE, with 200 battery-powered taxis on order from Tesla and plans for a recharging network.

27 February 2017

Iran targets 50% increase in gas output by 2020

Iran’s gas exports are forecast to rise from 53.2 bcm in 2016 to 102.7 bcm by 2020, according to the country's Institute for International Energy Studies.

24 February 2017
The Qatargas 4 LNG plant. Qatar is considering investing abroad. (Shell)

Qatari minister hints at LNG portfolio ambitions

Qatar is considering becoming a global LNG portfolio player and intends to continue to invest in LNG infrastructure in importing countries, according to its energy minister.

23 February 2017
Source: Enagas, Snam Rete Gas, Interfax

African pipeline exports to Europe hold steady

North African pipeline exports to Europe fell by 0.7% in Week 7 from the previous week, to 965.9 million cubic metres.

21 February 2017
Sections of the Iran-Pakistan pipeline at Chabahar, Iran, where the proposed new pipeline to India will land. (PA)

Growing optimism for Iran-Oman-India pipeline

The lifting of sanctions and technological advances have raised hopes that the Iran-Oman-India pipeline may come to fruition.

21 February 2017
Iran’s South Pars field. The country is hoping to attract $185 billion in upstream investment. (Pars O&G)

Iran close to massive gas investments – ministry

Iran is expecting to make upstream deals worth up to $35 billion over the next few months, a senior government official has revealed.

17 February 2017
Iran plans to invite bids for its licensing round by the end of the Iranian year. (NIOC)

Iran pushes back tender as bilateral talks continue

Iran is trying to maintain interest in its first post-sanctions licensing round despite the signing of bilateral agreements and fears of deteriorating relations with the United States.

16 February 2017

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