Starting today, drilling will begin off of Equatorial Guinea’s coast for a new expansion of the nation’s sizeable Ceiba and Okume oilfields.
Exxon discovered oil reserves of 1.28 billion barrels off the coast of Equatorial Guinea in 1996, and since, the nation has become sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest exporter of crude oil and gas. Given oil exports contribute to 85% of Malabo’s GDP and 94% of its exports, the dictatorship of President Teodoro Obiang is refocusing efforts to strengthen the energy sector with foreign investment in the face of volatile—and declining—oil prices.
The Equatoguinean government is forecasting $1.1 billion in foreign direct investment for its energy sector in 2021, alongside a relatively untouched $282 million IMF credit facility to enhance its non-energy economy. As oil output from existing fields has decreased in recent years, the country will increasingly offer larger stakes to foreign firms for infrastructure upgrades and maintenance of current export levels, opening new bilateral agreements worldwide. Trident Energy begins drilling operations offshore today, but expect further activity within the next year from Chevron, ExxonMobil, and others rushing to cash in on this opportunity.
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An international finance and strategy professional, Niko serves on the Current Developments Team with a focus on global business and policy trends in order to understand the key drivers of international investment. Niko's specific interests are in energy, emerging and frontier markets, and trade policy; he contributes regularly to the Daily Brief