Currently producing 350,000 barrels of oil per day, Congo could quadruple its capacity in the coming years. In any case, this is the bet of two Congolese oil companies, which presented, on Saturday, August 10 in Oyo, the details of the first onshore oil field discovered in the Cuvette region.
Known as the « Delta de la Cuvette deposit », the site covers an area of 9,392 m2 and has four wells, one of which has been perforated since March, according to the African Society for Petroleum Research and Distribution (SARPD OIL) and the company PEPA, in charge of its operation. « We are not yet in the production phase, but rather in the final perforation phase. And in the cuttings that come to the surface, we found oils, that is, oil, » explained Albert Boukoulou-Matondo, senior drilling engineer for the deposit in question, quoted by AFP. But beyond the discovery, the importance of the announcement lies above all in the size of the estimated reserves. According to exploration studies, the deposit, which will be 35% owned by the Congolese government, could produce up to more than one billion cubic meters of hydrocarbons, including 359 million barrels of oil, said Mohamed Rahmani, SARPD OIL’s marketing director. This will almost quadruple Congo’s current production over time, which, at 350,000 barrels per day, is now the third largest producer in sub-Saharan Africa, far behind Nigeria (2.3 million) and Angola (1.5 million).
Not present at the ceremony to present the Delta de la Cuvette deposit, President Denis Sassou Nguesso nevertheless welcomed, by video interposing, the drilling operation of the deposit, specifying in particular that it was « the result of a long process, which[had] begun in the 1980s ». As for Claude Wilfrid Etoka, leader of SARPD-OIL and PEPA, and a Congolese businessman close to the president, he said that « strengthening Congo’s energy independence » was »[…] the role that[should] play in the Delta de la Cuvette ».
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