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North Africa to become Italy’s major gas source— Eni

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Italy-based energy multinational, Eni has hinted that Northern African countries would be Italy’s main gas suppliers for the next few years.

Eni’s head of natural resources, Guido Brusco told journalists on Tuesday that the firm would invest heavily in Africa both in exploration and in new low-carbon projects.

According to Brusco, the company anticipates that Algeria and Egypt will play a larger role over the coming years in addition to Libya and many sub-Saharan nations like the Republic of Congo and Angola.

Eni is making multi-billion dollar investments in this situation to ensure exports to Italy serve the African market, and prepare to send additional gas to Europe.

“Fields are declining but 80% of global energy demand is still based on fossils, so while cleaner sources are being developed it’s necessary to manage oil and gas reduction… particularly in Africa where the population is growing and development is accelerating,” Brusco said.

Eni will invest roughly $3.5 billion over the course of four years in Egypt, where its production last year averaged 346-kilo barrels of oil equivalent per day(KBOED), Brusco said, dismissing concerns about production problems at the Zohr field.

Eni’s production in Algeria increased from 95 KBOED to over 120 KBOED this year, with the field performing better than other larger fields in Russia. The energy firm anticipates investing $8 billion in Libya, where 165 KBOED was generated last year.

With regards to sub-Saharan Africa, Brusco is focusing the Baleine project in the Ivory Coast, a flagship project for Eni that aims to build the first gas and oil field with net zero emissions on the whole continent.

“The production started last month, less than two years after the discovery, and is going very well,” he said.

Eni is the continent’s largest foreign petrol producer, with more than 90% of the fuel the company mined in 2022 sold on the African market.

Musings From Abroad

RSF to join as US invites Sudan’s warring parties for talks

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US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced Tuesday that the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces will participate in U.S.-mediated peace talks in Switzerland on Aug. 14.

RSF head Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo said early Wednesday they will constructively participate in discussions to achieve “a comprehensive ceasefire across the country and facilitate humanitarian access to all those in need.”

“We reaffirm our firm stance … which is the insistence on saving lives, stopping the fighting, and paving the way for a peaceful, negotiated political solution that restores the country to civilian rule and the path of democratic transition,” Dagalo said in a statement.

Blinken announced that the African Union, Egypt, UAE, and UN will observe the negotiations. Saudi Arabia will co-host the talks, he said.

“The scale of death, suffering, and destruction in Sudan is devastating. This senseless conflict must end,” Blinken said, calling on the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to attend the talks and approach them constructively.

South Sudan’s economy is struggling due to intercommunal warfare. The 2013–2018 civil war reduced crude oil export revenue, and the Sudanese conflict has disrupted exports.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that the RSF’s southeast expansion recently displaced about 150,000 people from Sennar state. Following RSF raids on residences and markets in the state’s small towns and villages, many of these people were rehoused again.

The April 2023 Sudanese war has displaced almost 10 million people, caused famine warnings, and started ethnically-driven violence blamed on the RSF. Last year, US-Saudi Arabia-sponsored army-RSF talks in Jeddah collapsed.

On Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Matthew Miller told reporters that the meetings in Switzerland were meant to build on Jeddah and go forward.

“We just want to get the parties back to the table, and what we determined is that bringing the parties, the three host nations and the observers together is the best shot that we have right now at getting the nationwide cessation of violence,” Miller said.

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Musings From Abroad

UK Conservatives planned 10 billion pounds for Rwanda migrant scheme, official reveals

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Britain’s new interior minister has accused the Conservative administration of hiding the cost of an abandoned proposal to deport thousands of asylum seekers to Rwanda, which was estimated to cost 10 billion pounds ($13 billion).

After winning a comfortable election this month, Prime Minister Keir Starmer’s new government ended the plan. Home Secretary Yvette Cooper told parliament that taxpayers had spent 700 million pounds on charter flights that never took off, Rwandan government payments, and public workers’ hours.

Two weeks after becoming home secretary, she evaluated the “policies, programmes and legislation that we have inherited”. She declared, “It is the most shocking waste of taxpayers’ money I have ever seen.”

For many Britons, leaving the EU in 2016 meant reclaiming control of Britain’s borders and curbing immigration, but reports suggest the issue persists. Already this year, 6,265 persons have been found, about 25% more than last year.

Former PM Boris Johnson approved the plan in April 2022. Illegal immigrants to Britain after January 1, 2022, are sent to Rwanda, 4,000 miles (6,400 km).

The former Conservative government declared in 2022 that it would send undocumented asylum seekers to Rwanda. In 2022, the Conservative administration declared it would send undocumented asylum seekers to Rwanda.

However, legal issues stopped anyone from being transferred to East Africa except for four voluntary migrants.

In March, Parliament’s budget inspector estimated that deporting 300 migrants to Rwanda would cost at least 600 million pounds, a small fraction of the 15,000 asylum seekers who have arrived on England’s southern coast this year.

Former Conservative home secretary James Cleverly accused Cooper of using “made-up numbers” in parliament without evidence or alternative costings.

Cooper also said that tens of thousands of asylum seekers at risk of deportation will have their petitions processed.

She added the government would also lift an Illegal Migration Act ban on asylum for illegal immigrants since March 2018.

Instead, the administration promised to halt asylum seekers’ pricey hotel stays and clear the claims backlog.

Cooper believed the reforms would save taxpayers 7 billion pounds over 10 years.

The election campaign focused on stopping French asylum seekers from crossing the Channel.

The former Conservative administration said this proposal would eliminate human traffickers, but detractors called it immoral and unworkable.

After the UK Supreme Court ruled last November that Rwanda was not a safe third country, the government passed another bill to overturn the ruling.

 

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