Rush back to African upstream raises regional dilemma

Chinese President Xi Jinping this month announced a $60 billion financing package in aid, investment and loans to Africa, as the world’s biggest energy importer continues to expand its global influence.

Part of that pledge will further underpin efforts by China’s state oil giants to help develop the region’s sizeable oil and gas resources.

For many existing and would-be African oil and gas producers, the promise of new funds to kick-start upstream activity after years of shrinking spending will be a welcome breath of fresh air.

Frontier African exploration was one of the main casualties of the oil price slump. When the returns from $100 oil evaporated, industry concerns over the region’s political instability, local disputes and…

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