(Adds details of new oil project)
BRAZZAVILLE, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Congo Republic expects oil output to rise to some 300,000 barrels per day in 2018, up from around 250,000 bpd now, partly due to a new deep offshore field due to come online next year, the oil minister said on Thursday.
Moho Nord, the second project issued on the Moho Bilondo offshore licence, is due to begin producing oil in March or April next year, Jean-Marc Thystere-Tchicaya told a conference in the capital Brazzaville.
“From mid-2017 we can already count on an increase in production and then reach a peak in 2018 with 300,000 barrels per day,” he said. “We hope that the cost of a barrel of crude will stabilise on the market and allow us a good budget.”
Oil accounts for around 65 percent of the Central African nation’s GDP.
Moho Nord is expected to have production capacity of 140,000 bpd, according to operator Total, which holds a 53.5 percent stake in the project. Chevron owns 31.5 percent with the remaining 15 percent held by Congo’s state oil company SNPC.
Having reversed a decline in production, Congo is on track to leapfrog Equatorial Guinea to become sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest crude producer next year. (Reporting by Christian Elion; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)