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Madagascar could lead unconventionals push

Sub-Saharan Africa holds known oil sands and shale oil resources, but politics make exploitation tricky

Madagascar's new government is likely to be asked to sanction Sub-Saharan Africa’s first major heavy-oil project in the coming weeks. But, while bitumen and other unconventional deposits are scattered across Sub-Saharan Africa, marginal economics, political instability, difficult investment conditions and environmental considerations are stymying most unconventional-oil developments. Prospects for commercialisation of Madagascar’s unconventional – and conventional – hydrocarbons resources improved after December’s presidential and parliamentary elections passed off relatively peacefully, paving the way for an elected leadership to replace a stop-gap one. Foreign firms’ operations have been

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