CNOOC signs Uganda deal
China’s state-owned CNOOC (中國海洋石油) has secured a US$2 billion deal to develop a petroleum field in Uganda and help propel the east African nation into the club of oil-producing countries, Ugandan Deputy Minister of Energy Peter Lokeris said on Friday. Uganda has oil reserves estimated at 3.5 billion barrels, but the path to production has been a bumpy one since deposits were discovered in 2006 near its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lokeris said he expected the initial output of the new Chinese-run field to be modest. “We expect to produce about 40,000 barrels of oil per day once the Kingfisher well is fully developed and operational,” he said.
Statoil makes discovery
Norwegian energy company Statoil ASA says it has made another “significant” discovery of crude oil off the Canadian coast in the Flemish Pass. The company said on Friday it was the second find in two days in the Bay du Nord prospect, 500km northeast off Newfoundland, but did not estimate its size. On Thursday, Statoil announced that its Canadian unit and partner Husky Energy had made its first Bay du Nord exploration estimated at between 300 million and 600 million barrels of recoverable oil. The company said the new finds confirm that the Flemish Pass has the potential of becoming a core producing area for Statoil after 2020.
Orphanides warrant issued
An arrest warrant was issued on Friday after the former head of the country’s central bank failed to appear before a district court for a hearing, the Cyprus News Agency reported. Former central bank governor Athanasios Orphanides, who is currently in the US, had been due to attend the hearing in Limassol in connection with a private lawsuit filed by a resident who had purchased Laiki Bank bonds worth 400,000 euros (US$540,000). Orphanides, served as central bank governor from May 2007 to May last year.
Microsoft reports on requests
Microsoft said on Friday it received more than 37,000 government requests for information in the first half of the year — excluding any national security requests. In only its second report on the matter, the US tech giant’s figures appeared to be on pace with last year, when it got 75,378 requests. The company said it provided “non-content data” — usually names or basic subscriber information — in 77 percent of requests, and nothing in about 21 percent. In 2.19 percent of the cases, the company turned over “customer content.”
Country off deadbeat list
The World Bank removed the country from its list of deadbeat borrowers on Friday, saying the Islamic Republic had paid outstanding loan amounts. The bank said that its key lending unit “has moved all loans to the Islamic Republic of Iran from non-performing status to performing status following the payment of all overdue amounts on these loans.” The Bank had placed the country’s account on non-performing status on July 16, when the country fell six months in arrears in paying US$79.1 million on nearly US$700 million in outstanding loan principal.