Congo: Nigerian Pelfaco obtains an oil exploitation permit

Nigerian junior Pelfaco signed a production sharing agreement with the Société des pétroles du Congo (SNPC) on Tuesday, June 11, in Brazzaville, on the Sounda oil field.

Represented by its CEO Gési Asamaowei, present at the signing ceremony, the Nigerian company, the first African oil operator to enter the Congolese hydrocarbon sector, expects to produce thirty-two million barrels of oil over the next twenty-five years. « The signing of this CPP (Production Sharing Agreement, NDLR) marks the successful conclusion of a long period of discussions and negotiations with a very special partner, whose technical and financial expertise is internationally established, » said Marcelin Dibou, its Chief of Staff, on behalf of the Minister of Hydrocarbons Jean-Marc Thystère Tchicaya. Covering an area of 134.20 km2 with an average water depth of 500 m, the Sounda operating permit is based on the former Marin VI permit, located in the Congolese offshore area (south of the country).

Gési Asamaowei, CEO of Pelfaco © Commonwealth of Nations

Originally granted to Eni Congo in April 1997, the operating permit was handed over to the State in 1998. The latter then entrusted it to the SNPC, which, in order to develop this permit, finally chose to partner with Pelfaco, through its subsidiary called Pelfaco Congo Limited.

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An announcement that should not, however, change the hierarchy of black gold producing companies in Congo-Brazzaville: three-quarters of production continues to be supplied by Total E&P and ENI-Congo, followed by Franco-British Perenco (around 15%) and a myriad of smaller operators (SNPC, Pelfaco, Africa Oil & Gas, Anglo African Oil & Gas…). This is the second production sharing contract signed since the beginning of the year, after the awarding of the Marine XXI permit to the American company Kosmos Energy at the beginning of March, a block located in very deep offshore (3,000 m).