Gabon awards 13 offshore blocks to energy companies

offshore gabon-Icethorn Wikimedia CommonsOphir Energy won four blocks offshore Gabon. (Image source: Icethorn/Wikimedia Commons)Gabon has awarded 13 oil and gas blocks to 11 energy companies as part of a deepwater licensing round, which the country hopes will help double its output to 500,000 bpd

According to Oil Ministry sources, investors showed renewed interest in Gabon’s coastline after French energy major Total reported a gas condensate discovery buried deep in a layer of the ocean bed referred to as pre-salt.

This has raised hopes that offshore West Africa may contain deepwater reserves on a scale comparable to those found offshore Brazil, sources added.

Etienne Ngoubou, oil minister, said, “The government is aiming for 500,000 bpd once these blocks are operational.”

British oil and gas explorer Ophir Energy reportedly won four of the offered blocks.

ExxonMobil, Eni, Repsol and Marathon Oil were also awarded licences, Reuters reported. Some of the other companies that also won are Noble Energy, Perenco, Petronas, Cobalt International Energy, Elenilto and Impact.

Ngoubou did not divulge into details on the legal terms of the new contracts and said that the negotiations would continue shortly with the selected companies. Shell and Total, however, did not win any blocks during the bidding process.



West Africa and pre-salt

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