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Africa & Middle East Headlines

Egypt: Shortages Spark Tension Despite Government Assurances

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Reports of increasing prices and fuel shortages have stirred up unrest in Egypt for three consecutive days, despite Government assurance of stable supply and promises of no price hikes. The Oil Ministry issued a statement to the national media saying that 21.5m litres of petrol were being distributed daily, 33% more than normal demand dictates and that no plans were in train to raise subsidised fuel prices.

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Nigeria: President Starts to Climb Down from Deregulation

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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (pictured) has partly backtracked on the country's rapid moves to deregulate fuel prices, announcing a 30% cut in the price of gasoline as his Government seeks to quell unrest over the doubling of prices at the pump. Speaking in a nationwide radio address, Jonathan said that  considering "the hardship being suffered by Nigerians" had prompted the move after consultation with State Governors and the leadership of the National Assembly.

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Nigeria: National Strike Enters Second Week as Talks Break Down

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New talks between the federal Government and labour unions on the deregulation of fuel prices and the downstream fuel industry have broken up, sending a national strike against the measure into a second week. The Government had hoped to avert a shutdown of oil production threatened by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), but both political and trade union leaders confirmed that three hours of talks had failed to reach a compromise. 

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UAE: Government in JV Talks on Oman Refinery

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The United Arab Emirates is in talks with Oman with a view to jointly producing a refinery at Duqm on the Omani east coast. In a statement published on the Economic Ministry websites, UAE Minister of the Economy Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri  (pictured) confirmed that he met with officials in Muscat to discuss the project. 

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