Equatorial Guinea: Oil exploration to intensify next year

Equatorial Guinea wants to intensify oil exploration and production next year, with three new wells to be drilled in Block G as of April, according to a statement released on Tuesday.

“Trident Energy will drill three wells in Block G in 2021 – each of which should take 33 days to complete – with a start date of April,” according to a statement from the Africa Oil & Power Conference, which refers to the renewal and intervention in wells and infrastructures, announced by Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons.

Block G, includes the Ceiba and Okume fields and is located around 15 kilometres off the coast of Equatorial Guinea and should present “new development opportunities.

The work and budget programme for 2021, presented by the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Obiang Lima last week, foresaw US$1.1 billion (€900 million) in foreign direct investment in oil and gas infrastructure.

With this increase in investment, the government also expects an increase in hydrocarbon production.

“Equatorial Guinea remains committed to providing a permissive environment for companies to operate in the country in good times or bad. We will continue to work with all operators to ensure that the best measures are taken to support the recovery of activities,” Gabriel Obiang Lima said then.

Total crude oil production in Equatorial Guinea until October was 35.15 million barrels, an average of 115,250 barrels per day.

According to the latest report from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Equatorial Guinea produced 104,000 barrels of oil per day in November.

Over the last 20 years, the exploitation of oil resources has been the main pillar for the growth of this economy.

To avoid a high dependence on oil exploration, the African Development Bank (AfDB) pledged in September last year to support economic diversification in the country through a programme that will focus, among others, on agricultural transformation.

According to AfDB data, the fall in oil prices affected public investment, which in 2017 accounted for 17.2% of Equatorial Guinea’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), down from 24.6% in 2013.

Due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, with its impact on the economy and the decrease in consumption, OPEC Joint Technical Committee has been recommending cuts in oil production.

The pandemic has hit oil demand due to the global economic slowdown, with restrictions on movement, teleworking and reduced travel causing a fall in energy consumption.