…MoUs to Boost Oil and Mining Exploration

Equatorial Guinea has signed several MoUs with successful bidders of its 2019 Licensing Round, on the sidelines of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi. Under EG-RONDA 2019, the government of Equatorial Guinea offered 27 free blocks for exploration across its sedimentary basins, the APO news agency said yesterday.

The licensing round, the report said, generated interest from 53 companies and resulted in 17 bids. It confirmed that MoUs have been signed for Block EG-27 with Lukoil and GEPetrol (Niger Basin, offshore), EG-23 with WalterSmith, Hawtai Energy and GEPetrol (Niger Basin offshore), EG-09 with Noble Energy and GEPetrol (Duala Basin, offshore), EG-18 with Africa Oil Corporation and GEPetrol (Rio Muni basin, offshore), EG-03, EG-04, EG-19 and Block P with Vaalco Energy, Levene Energy and GEPetrol (Rio Muni Basin, onshore) and EG-28 with GEPetrol (Rio Muni Basin, offshore).

The signing of these MoUs is a first step towards the fast completion of the Production Sharing Contracts.

In addition, the Mining Licensing Round, which had also generated interest from several investors, resulted in the signing of MoUs with Blue Magnolia, who was assigned seven blocks for copper, rare earth elements, PGE, gold, lead, uranium and bauxite among others.

Oro Sac ACorp (M-Partners), who was assigned four blocks for gold, platinum, copper, zinc, lead and nickel; Akoga Resources, who was assigned two blocks for PGE, nickel, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium among others; Manhattan Mining Investment Inc, who was assigned one block for gold, and finally Shefa Minerals who was also assigned one block for gold.

“The results coming out of the EG Ronda 2019 were very encouraging and we hope to see a robust and sustained exploration activity in Equatorial Guinea once these contracts are signed,” declared Mr Mbaga Obiang Lima, the country’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons.

According to him, in 2020, the Year of Investment will see the signing and execution of several such contracts and projects, not only in upstream but also midstream and downstream. Exploration activity has been slowly recovering in the Gulf of Guinea. In 2019 for instance, Noble Energy announced a discovery after drilling the Aseng 6P well at a depth of 4,000 metres in Equatorial Guinea, confirming expectations that the country remains a promising frontier for oil and gas exploration. Recent discoveries are expected to add an additional 20,000 bopd to Equatorial Guinea’s oil production this year.

Chibisi Ohakah

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