U.S. President Barack Obama

A couple of firsts, and one sloppy second…

Some citizens of Sub-Saharan African countries may get access to reliable electricity for the first time. President Obama has announced plans to invest $7 bln over five years to expand access to electricity in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania, mostly as loans to buy US electrical products and technical assistance, with some grants to African entrepreneurs. US companies including GE have pledged another $9 bln in electricity-focused investment. [Quartz]

Norway’s Statoil finally becomes an Eagle Ford shale operator this month when it takes the lead on drilling in select acres under a 2010 joint venture with Canada’s Talisman. “Talisman initially managed all the drilling, but the companies agreed that Statoil ultimately would become the operator for half the acreage.” [Fuel Fix]

Kinder Morgan shut down its Trans Mountain product pipeline, which starts in Alberta and crosses British Columbia, following the line’s second leak in one month. The company had scheduled an open house that same day to discuss an expansion project that would triple the pipeline’s capacity. [Calgary Herald]

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