Antonio Oburu Ondo, Equatorial Guinea’s recently appointed Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, has awarded Panoro Energy a 56% participating interest and operatorship in offshore Block EG-01 offshore, as well as Canadian oil and gas company, the Africa Oil Corporation, two production sharing contracts (PSCs) for offshore Blocks EG-18 and EG-31
With the PSCs, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, under the leadership of Minister Ondo, has taken significant strides towards opening up Equatorial Guinea’s offshore basins even further, to usher in a new era of hydrocarbon exploration and production.
For Panoro, the awarding of Block EG-01 enables the company to work alongside its partners in the block, Kosmos Energy (24%) and national oil company, GEPetrol (20%), to conduct subsurface studies on existing seismic data to identify and define hydrocarbon reserves available over a period of three years. Located in water depths of between 30 and 500 m, Block EG-01 has indicated the presence of high-quality hydrocarbon reserves, with previous exploration activities encountering thin oil and gas pay as well as oil shows. To date, the Eocene sands and Upper Cretaceous identified in the block have been tied to producing wells in Block G – bordering Block EG-01 – where more than one billion barrels of commercial oil reserves have been identified. With Panoro Energy and its partners set to extend the contract with an additional two years to conduct exploration activities, the PSC is set to drive Equatorial Guinea into a new era of oil and gas market expansion.
John Hamilton, the CEO of Panoro Energy, stated that the “awarding of Block EG-01 is a natural and complementary expansion of our portfolio in Equatorial Guinea, and is in line with our infrastructure-led exploration strategy, increasing our access to a large inventory of oil prospects and leads within tie back distance of existing production facilities for a modest financial exposure. Panoro is pleased to become an operator in Equatorial Guinea.”
The new contract increases Panoro Energy’s contribution towards the growth of Equatorial Guinea’s energy sector. As a partner and operator in the Ceiba Field and Okune Complex – comprising six operating oil and gas wells – Panoro Energy has been crucial player in maintaining Equatorial Guinea’s energy sector stability and growth. With Panoro Energy’s contract in the Ceiba Field extended to 2029 and in the Okume Complex to 2034, the company’s role in driving Equatorial Guinea’s energy future is imminent.
Meanwhile, for the Africa Oil Corporation, the PSCs enable the company to enter into the promising Equatorial Guinean market. With the agreements, the Canadian explorer will own an 80% interest in both Block EG-18 and EG-31, with GEPetrol owning a 20% interest in each. Currently, Block EG-31 has shown to contain several gas-prone prospects in shallow water depths of less than 80 m, and is strategically situated close to existing infrastructure such as the Alba gas field and onshore Punta Europa liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. As such, the Africa Oil Corporation has emphasised that any future discoveries could present low-cost, low-risk gas development, thereby further consolidating the country’s position as a global LNG hub.