The Oil & Gas Year Gabon 2016


With the implementation of a new hydrocarbons code juxtaposed with the dramatic mid-2014 drop in oil prices, Gabon’s oil industry has undergone quite a bit of change.

The Gabon Oil Company (GOC), established in 2011, has taken a more active role in the nation’s hydrocarbons industry. One example of this involvement is when the company took control of the Mboumba field in April 2016. However, GOC has come under pressure as a result of management changes, halting work at the Remboué field in Q4 2015 and the need to cut both finances and personnel. In October 2015, Serge Toulekima was suspended as the company’s managing director. He was replaced in early 2016 by Arnauld Engandji after a stint as the interim director general.

The fall in oil prices has highlighted the country’s need to diversify its source of revenue away from oil. At the forefront of these efforts is the nation’s Strategic Plan for an Emerging Gabon, through which it hopes to reach emerging country status by 2025. As part of the plan, Gabon has embarked on the construction of several special economic zones (SEZs) through GSEZ, a joint venture between the government of Gabon and Olam International. Among the SEZs are the Nkok SEZ, the Mandji Island and the GSEZ Mineral Port. While the Nkok facilities are opened to all businesses, the facilities to be developed on Mandji island are intended solely for use by the hydrocarbons industry. The mineral port will provide Gabon with a much needed drydock, reducing travel time and expenditures associated with vessel repair.

Gabon’s 11th licencing round kicked off in Q4 2015. The country needs a new influx of successful exploration efforts in order to combat a decade of declining production. In order to make the bidding round more attractive, the Ministry of Petroleum and Hydrocarbons hired French firm CGG to generate 3D seismic data spanning a 25,000 square kilometre area. The results of the licencing round, which closed in Q2 2016, have yet to be released. The blocks on offer are located in Gabon’s deepwater pre-salt plays.

The Oil & Gas Year Gabon 2016 deciphers the implications of the changing landscape of a hydrocarbons industry that provides around 50% of the country’s GDP. The top insiders were interviewed for the book including newly re-elected President Ali Bongo Ondimba; Minister of Petroleum and Hydrocarbons, Etienne Dieudonné Ngoubou; Union Pétrolière Gabonaise’s (UPEGA) president, Jacqueline Bignoumba and GOC’s managing director, Arnauld Engandji.

Extensive analysis is backed with meticulously researched maps, illustrations and graphs to create a market guide indispensable for players seeking to make a move in Gabon.


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