May 17, 2020

Sudanese Troops Pulled from Oil-Rich Region

energy digital
sudan
Sudan troops
Oil
Admin
2 min
Abyei
Sudan withdraws its army this week from the disputed Abyei border region containing rich oil fields. Contested by neighboring South Sudan, it will be...

 

Sudan withdraws its army this week from the disputed Abyei border region containing rich oil fields. Contested by neighboring South Sudan, it will be handed over to the U.N.

According to the Sudan Media Center, Ethiopian troops will fill the vacuum and maintain security. Both sides are to return to talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after the U.N.'s diplomatic intervention Tuesday.

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Oil will bring downfall of Sudan government

South Sudan: Robbed of Oil Worth $815 Million

Read more in May's issue of Energy Digital: The Military Edition

Stemming from the failed process that begin with a Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 that led to the creation of South Sudan, issues over the distribution of income from oil resources, among other things, remain. South Sudan shut down oil production over disputes between pipeline fees and confiscated shipments in the Republic of Sudan. Although South Sudan controls three-fourths of the country's oil resources, it is doing the people no good as it fails to reach the market.

Sudan's loss of billions of dollars of oil revenues will bring down the government as inflation soars, the economy buckles and people grow hungrier, opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi said in an interview.

Oil once accounted for 90 percent of exports, but Sudan's economy took a beating when South Sudan gained independence in July and took away most of the known crude reserves.

Citizens have since had to cope with inflation at nearly 30 percent and a rapidly devaluing currency in a country where the economy is already reeling from U.S. trade sanctions and the cost of renewed conflict with South Sudan and rebels.

"Hatred for the regime is intensifying now in the country," Turabi, the leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party told Reuters in a recent interview in Khartoum.

"The economic crisis has intensified and this is very dangerous. If the hungry go out in a revolution, they will break and destroy ... I expect it won't take us long now," Turabi said.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki will be leading the negotiations. The U.N. Security Council extended its force's mission in Abyei, including 4,000 peacekeepers.

 

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Jul 26, 2021

Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April

Ofwat
Utilities
water
prices
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Ofwat confirms levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue

Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.

The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.

Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.  

In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue. 

Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”  

There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:   

  1. Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps. 
  2. Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold. 
  3. Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice. 

Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.

Anita Dougall, CEO and Founding Partner at Sagacity, said Ofwat’s decision comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s price cap rise in April.

"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."

United Utilities picks up pipeline award

A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.

The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.

“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.

Camus Energy secures $16m funding

Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent VenturesWave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.

As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.

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