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Equatorial Guinea
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The discovery of large oil reserves in 1996 and its subsequent exploitation have contributed to a dramatic increase in government revenue, with oil accounting for 60% of GDP and 90% of total exports. As of 2004, Equatorial Guinea is the third-largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa. Growth remained strong in 2008, led by oil, but dropped in 2009, as the price of oil fell.

Since 1995, when significant off shore oil discoveries were made in the Gulf of Guinea, oil has become Equatorial Guinea's most important export. According to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Equatorial Guinea had proved oil reserves of 1.755 billion barrels at the end of 2007 or 0.14 % of the world's reserves. The survey states that Equatorial Guinea produced an average of 363.3 thousand barrels of crude oil per day in 2007, 0.46% of the world total and a change of 1.5 % compared to 2006.

As of 2005, Equatorial Guinea had proven natural gas reserves estimated of 1.3 trillion cubic feet, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. The country's natural gas reserves are located off Bioko island, which is the site of the nation's capital, Malabo, and mainly in the Zafiro and Alba oil and gas fields. Domestic consumption of natural gas is estimated for 2002 at 45 billion cubic feet. Natural gas is exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced by EG LNG.

Equatorial Guinea has a small downstream oil industry that uses imported products. Getotal, equally owned by Total and Equatorial Guinea is the only player in the downstream industry.

Equatorial Guinea’s possessions in the Gulf of Guinea provide it with complex maritime boundaries and territorial delineations. Since mid 1999 there have been strained regional relations over maritime boundaries. Particularly at issue is the Zafiro field in Block B, with Nigeria claiming that it is part of the same structure as the Ekanga oilfield which was discovered by Elf in Nigeria’s concession block OML 102, just 3.5 kilometers north of Block B.

Recently President Obiang unilaterally adopted an equidistant median line defining territorial boundaries as stipulated under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea in March 1999; Cameroon, Sao Tome & Principe, and Nigeria accepted the decision as an improvement over oft-disputed traditional boundaries. Equatorial Guinea and Gabon have disputed the ownership of three islands in the Gulf of Guinea, including Mbagne Island, since the 1970s. In July 2004, the two countries reached an agreement allowing joint oil exploration in the disputed territories until a final resolution is worked out under U.N. mediation.

Petroleum Law & Legislation

The Government’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons regulates the industry and is the licensing authority. Petroleum licensing is governed by the 1981 Hydrocarbons Law, amended in 1998, and taxation is covered by the general tax provisions of 1986, amended in 1988, 1991 and 1997.

Contracts governing the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons are based on the Model Petroleum Production Sharing Contract, revised and updated in 1998. This contract allows for an initial exploration term of 5 years followed by two terms of 3 and 2 years extendable on a yearly basis for up to a total of 8 years. Production sharing is based upon the contractor’s pre-tax return and is negotiable. The contractors can propose other forms of sharing.

Originally the state was represented in an operating company called Guinea-Espanola de Petreleos SA (GEPSA), a 50/50 joint venture between it and Spain’s Hispanica de Petroleos (Hispanoil, now Repsol). GEPSA was subsequently dissolved and there is now no fully owned national oil company in Equatorial Guinea.

Oil & Gas Companies

  • Guinea Ecuatorial de Petroleos (GEPetrol): is the national oil company
  • Sonagas: is the national gas company
  • Getotal: is the only player in downstream oil industry
  • Atlantic Methanol Production Company (AMPCO): is engaged in support activities for petroleum and natural gas extraction
  • Equatorial Guinea LNG Holdings Limited (EG Lng): is involved in the extraction of crude petroleum
  • ExxonMobil Equatorial Guinea: is involved in the extraction of crude petroleum (www.exxonmobil.com)

Key Figures

  • Oil production: 461,900 bbl/day(2008)
  • Oil Consumption: 1,000 bbl/day(2008)
  • Oil Exports: 362,900 bbl/day(2007)
  • Oil Imports: 1,114 bbl/day(2007)
  • Oil Proved Reserves: 1.1 billion bbl (2009)
  • Natural Gas Production: 6.67 billion cu m(2008)
  • Natural Gas Consumption: 1.5 billion cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Exports: 5.17 billion cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Proved reserves: 36.81 billion cu m(2009)

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