Since discovering offshore oil reserves in the mid-1990s, Equatorial Guinea has become the third-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. Oil production in the small West African nation peaked at 358,000 barrels of oil per day in 2005 as the country’s major producing fields matured. Since then the government has been keen to reverse the decline and boost production. Its efforts have focused on increasing exploration in the country and, although interest waned during the late 2000s, several new exploration programmes are planned for 2012. In addition, companies are optimistic about exploring in areas that have not yet been drilled and licenses for new blocks are being issued throughout the year.
Besides oil, the country also has substantial gas reserves and is looking at investments in gas and downstream infrastructure. The government regards this as a way to add value to raw exports and improve the sustainability of its energy industry. It has already developed a world-class, gas-processing complex from which it exports LNG, methanol and LPG. There are also on-going discussions concerning a second LNG train and an oil refinery.
Hydrocarbons exports have led to tremendous economic development in Equatorial Guinea, but the country is facing challenges of involving the local workforce. The government is targeting better education for locals and improved implementation of national content laws. It is also working on creating strong bureaucratic and legal infrastructure so it can better manage the development of the country.
After months of research in the locality, The Oil & Gas Year Equatorial Guinea 2012 explores the opportunities, issues and challenges faced by the country’s oil and gas community. Offering an array of statistics and maps, as well as articles and interviews with some of the leading figures in the industry, the publication is the most complete and up-to-date guide to Equatorial Guinea’s energy industry.