By Neil Ferguson on the rise of Equatorial Guinea.
The small West African nation of Equatorial Guinea is quickly emerging as one of the continent’s major energy players, mainly due to its large oil reserves. Malabo is now actively working to become a continental energy center, showing how oil reserves are key in driving economic growth and investment, creating jobs, stimulating entrepreneurship and providing electricity for all.
The oil and gas industry there is still relatively young, with Mobil Oil Corporation first discovering sizeable oil reserves in 1995/6. Since then the country has become a major player in the sector on the continent as the third largest oil exporter in Sub-Saharan Africa. It became a member of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in 2008 before joining the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2017. According to Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Obiang Lima, the country currently produces around 120,000 barrels of crude a day. As of 2016, the country has estimated reserves of 1,1 billion barrels of oil. At its peak in 2005, the country produced 375,000 bopd. Oil production accounts for approximately 78% of Equatorial Guinea’s GDP.
Oil and gas exports are central to the country’s growth and are expected to continue to drive the economy going forward. Like many oil-producing countries in Africa, it hopes to reverse systemic declines in production by encouraging exploration and bringing new discoveries online. The country is now also using large-scale gas developments and petrochemical projects that capitalize on its abundant natural gas reserves, to diversify its energy sector. The LNG plant near the capital Malabo on Bioko Island, has a capacity of 3,4m tonnes a year. Before the end of the decade, Equatorial Guinea will become Africa’s first country to launch a deep-water floating liquefied natural gas terminal, when the Fortuna FLNG development becomes operational.
While the recent volatility in oil prices has hit the sector hard, it appears Equatorial Guinea has turned the corner, aiming to benefit from its geographical location and facilities to become a regional energy hub. Investment in the development of its upstream sector will see facilities such as the Bioko Oil Terminal, Luba Freeport and REPEGE project all help the country achieve its goal.
It will also be helped the recently announced US$2,4 billion in new investment from American firms including ExxonMobil, Kosmos Energy, Marathon Oil Corp and Noble Energy. Eleven new wells are also expected to be drilled this year.
Equatorial Guinea has designated 2019 the Year of Energy. The main goal of the initiative is to position the country as Africa’s energy capital, to showcase opportunities offered by the country’s and continent’s energy sector, to promote local companies and the country’s achievements, and to support the agenda of all Africa’s oil and gas producing countries.
The highlight of the Year of Energy is the APPO Cape VII Congress and Exhibition, taking place in Malabo between 2 and 5 April. There are also two other important events – The Equatorial Guinea Gas Summit and the 5th GECF Gas Summit.
And the small West African nation’s hopes for 2019 are not unique. Africa is home to some of the world’s biggest recent oil discoveries and is now welcoming several new producers, including Senegal, Uganda, Mauritania and Mozambique.
Source link : https://www.africa.com/the-rise-and-rise-of-equatorial-guinea/
Author : ADC
Publish date : 2019-03-15 06:05:31