Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
• Libya is still struggling with the recovery of its oil industry amid a fresh spike in tensions between the national Oil Corporation, the UN-backed government and the country’s Petroleum Facilities Guard. Members of the guard have been blocking ports across the country, demanding pay they say the NOC owes them. A recent deal struck by the Government of National Accord, with the help of UN envoy Martin Kobler, and the PFG to release their hold of ports was slammed by the head of the Tripoli division of the NOC, who said any deal concerning Libya’s oil should go through the company and not the Guard. Things escalated further when an army general threatened foreign oil companies with direct fire to their vessels, should they try to ship any Libyan oil without the agreement of the Benghazi branch of the NOC. The situation in Libya is getting increasingly confusing, despite a recent ray of light when the two branches of the NOC seemed to be in agreement they should unite for the greater good. The prospects remain unclear at this point and in all likelihood oil output will remain subdued. At the end of the day, however, paying off militias for all intents and purposes, and rewarding them for hijacking the country’s oil will backfire.
• The Syrian army recaptured control of a major oil pipeline in western Syria from the control of ISIS. The victory has disabled an important financing channel from the terrorist group. Oil and refining assets have been a priority target for the Syrian forces as efforts are ongoing to hit at the group’s funding for recruitment and arms. The movement of the Syrian army and its allies has intensified recently, but we are nowhere near the end of this conflict, which will metamorphose geopolitically.
Deals, Mergers & Acquisitions
• Genel Energy has received $24.91 million from the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq as payment for crude oil marketed in June. The crude was pumped at the Taq Taq field, which produces an average 62,979 bpd.
• Sinochem and Unicore are among the bidders for German company Atotech, a surface finishing and metal plating manufacturer currently owned by French oil giant Total. The value of the deal, which has also attracted interest from buyout firms including CVC, Cinven, BC Partners, and Advent, could reach or even exceed $3.3 billion.
• M&A activity is seen to gather pace in…