Gabon’s Directorate General of Economy and Tax Policy (DGEPF) has stated that the country recorded a 5.3% increase in oil production during the first quarter 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. 

The directorate indicated in a report yesterday that oil production recorded an increased up from 2.64 million in 2019 to 2.78 million tons during the same period a year later.

“The work to improve yields in mature fields and the ramp-up of the Simba field explained the increase,” DGEPF published in the report.

The directorate operates under the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The report also points out that crude oil exports fell by over 20% to 2.35 million metric tons, due to weak demand, linked to the international production glut. The document detailed “the average crude prices were $50.26 per barrel for Brent and $49.16 per barrel for the basket of Gabonese crude, representing respective decreases of 20.5% and 21% compared to first quarter of 2019.

The report stressed however that the development in Gabon was occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, which it said accentuated the drop in demand for oil, and already already exacerbated by the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

As a historic producer in Africa, with first oil produced in 1956, Gabon saw peak production in 1997, the directorate informed, adding that this year (2020) is marked as a decisive year in the country’s oil production history. It hinted that 12 exploration licenses have been signed during the country’s ongoing 12th licensing round

Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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