LIBREVILLE Oct 3 Gabon's state oil firm has
agreed its first oil production contract and says it hopes to
soon generate enough revenue to compete with international firms
for offshore blocs.
Gabon is an OPEC member and Africa's fourth largest producer
with an output of around 220,000 barrels per day, dominated by
international oil majors Total and Royal Dutch Shell
Its state oil firm Gabon Oil Company (GOC) was created by
decree in 2011 and has until now mostly been focused mostly on
selling crude oil produced by international firms and refined
"The Mboumba field...(was) signed a few days ago with the
oil ministry," said GOC managing director Arnauld
Engandji-Alandji, a former advisor to President Ali Bongo, in an
interview with Reuters.
"Our strategy is to optimise our revenues onshore...to
generate enough cash so that in two or three years we can be a
major actor with offshore finds," he added.
The acquisition of the Mboumba field will mean GOC has
production of around 1,500 barrels per day.
Engandji-Alandji did not say how much it was acquired for or
whom it was purchased from. Local media said it formerly
belonged to Total Gabon but this could not immediately be
confirmed with a Total spokesman.
Gabon has allocated many new offshore licences in the past
few years amid hopes that explorers would find vast reserves
tucked deep below a layer of salt in the seabed similar to those
discovered offshore Brazil.
However, falling oil prices have dashed investment.
(Reporting by Geraulds Wilfried Obangome; Writing by Emma
Farge, editing by William Hardy)