In the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic and its consequences on oil prices and African economies, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) of Equatorial Guinea has signed a Ministerial Order granting oil & gas companies a two-year extension on their exploration programmes. The MMH will also ensure flexibility on the work programmes of producing companies to ensure growth and stability in the market.
“The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons remains concerned about the resounding impact of the drop in oil prices, Covid-19 and its dramatic consequences on our hydrocarbons industry. At a time of great uncertainty, we have an obligation to make bold, decisive, and pragmatic policy decisions to get the industry moving again,” stated H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “Our government is fully committed to safeguard our local oil & gas industry, its companies and its employees. The granting of these extensions has been deemed suitable to create an enabling environment for international and African companies to keep investing in Equatorial Guinea and ensure a quick recovery of our industry.”
In addition, the MMH will continue working with oil companies benefitting from such incentives to make sure that the recovery of Equatorial Guinea’s oil sector is made on the back of local content promotion, increased technology transfers, and procurement of additional local goods and services. A particular emphasis will be put on educating, training and promoting local workforce to help further reduce operational costs for international companies while maximising the creation of local value and revenue.
With these proposals, the MMH maintains and guarantees existing investments into Equatorial Guinea, while empowering local companies to assist their foreign partners in safeguarding and increasing their operations in the country. Some of these companies operating in Equatorial Guinea notably include ExxonMobil, EGLNG, Marathon Oil Corp, Atlas Petroleum, Kosmos Energy, Noble Energy, Glencore, Royal Gate Energy, Gunvor, Trident Energy, etc.
Such historic measures are being rolled out as Equatorial Guinea implements a series of landmark projects across its upstream, midstream and downstream industries. The backfill project is already ongoing to pool supply from stranded gas in the Gulf of Guinea and replace declining output from the Alba Field. Meanwhile, the ongoing Year of Investment has generated strong interest from various existing and new players in Equatorial Guinea to build and expand midstream and downstream infrastructure and maximise local processing and transformation of domestic crude oil and natural gas.
Coupled with a friendlier business environment and market-driven policies allowing companies to operate amidst current market conditions, Equatorial Guinea is positioning itself for quick recover and already laying the bases of a strong economic growth in the years to come.