Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
• South Sudan now has a new Oil Ministry head, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth. The change of ministers involved another five ministries as well and came after the ousting of Riek Machar from his vice-presidential post, replaced by Taban Deng Gai, who then nominated Gatkuoth for the ministerial position. The civil war that has been raging in Sudan since 2013 and has led to the separation of the country into two has shrunk its daily crude oil production to around 120,000 barrels. It’s unlikely that South Sudan, which has the third-largest oil reserves in Africa, will be able to start developing its oil industry in any meaningful way while its government is so unstable. This ministerial purge comes only weeks after the newly independent country announced it would restart production.
• A resurgence of violence in Angola between the army and separatists from the oil-rich province of Cabinda has so far claimed 40 lives and there are no indications that it will subside anytime soon. The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, as the militant group calls itself, has claims over a territory that hosts 50% of the country’s oil reserves. If the violence escalates, Africa’s largest exporter could face the risk of losing a substantial part of its exports.
• Despite recent ISIS attacks on Kirkuk, northern Iraq’s richest oil region, and an ongoing debate where the region’s loyalties should…