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African competition hots up

It's a tough environment for exploration, but some countries are making headway

A near halving of the oil price since late 2014 has been accompanied by a similar-sixed fall in drilling costs. But it's going to take more than that to woo cash-strapped companies to a growing queue of African countries eager to attract investors to their frontier acreage. As the industry's growing investments in Senegal, Mozambique and Uganda have shown, what's really needed to pique interest is a major discovery. But persuading international oil companies (IOCs) to fund exploration in high-risk unproven blocks isn't easy when oil prices remain around $60 a barrel. It's telling that the first major oil or gas finds in all three of those countries were made before the oil-price crash, sin

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