Gabon: Perenco awarded three new offshore contracts

Active since 1992 in Gabon, where it is the largest hydrocarbon producer, the Franco-British group Perenco continues to strengthen its position in the country with the award of three new exploration and production sharing contracts (CEPP).

Awarded by the Gabonese government on 14 February and named Ezila G4-260, Onembe G4-261 and Evaro G4-262, these three blocks are all located offshore, off the coast of Ogooué-Maritime. Negotiated after « direct consultations », according to the terms of the government press release, these contracts give the independent oil operator an eight-year exploration period during which it « undertakes to invest at least $90 million in the search for hydrocarbons », the note states. Further proof of Perenco’s determination to consolidate (a little more) its leadership position (90,000 barrels/day, or 40% of national production) in the Gabonese oil industry: after buying out Total’s French assets in the country in 2018, the Franco-British major had already obtained CEPPs in the western Ogooué-Maritime basin last October, alongside Assala and Sinopec.

Present in Libreville when the contracts were signed, the Minister of Petroleum, Vincent de Paul Massassa, welcomed this new collaboration: « This event should make us more than optimistic, because the desert crossing stopped last year with the discoveries made in our sedimentary basin ». In fact, according to Gabon’s Hydrocarbons Directorate General, production increased by 11% between 2018 and 2019. This is also a way to support the Gabonese government’s current efforts to revive its oil and gas sector, which has been particularly affected by the oil counter-shock of 2014-2016. Since the promulgation of the new oil code in July 2019, which is more attractive to companies, 12 exploration contracts have already been awarded to companies in the sector.

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The location of the concessions (in blue) operated by Perenco in Gabon. Credit: Perenco