In order to maintain the engagement with the oil sector of Equatorial Guinea in light of the ongoing crisis of Covid-19 and challenging market conditions, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) recently met with an industry delegation in Malabo.
Accompanied by H.E. Santiago Mba Eneme Nsuga, the Director General of Hydrocarbons, the Director General of State Companies and the Director General of National Content, the Minister met with senior representatives of ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil Corp, AMPCO, Noble Energy, Trident Energy, EG LNG and Kosmos Energy. H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima thanked all operating companies for their constant support and interventions during the pandemic, especially for equipping the Baney Epidemiological Laboratory with the required equipment to prevent and reduce the spread of coronavirus in Equatorial Guinea.
Equally important, the Minister received a letter from the industry regarding ongoing concerns over forex regulations imposed by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC). On this occasion, he insisted that mitigating the economic and business impact of the Covid-19 pandemic remained a priority in order to ensure sector recovery and investments across the value-chain. “Covid-19 is a major concern for the Government of Equatorial Guinea, and listening to the concerns of local and international private companies operating in the country is for us a way to ensure industry growth and sustainability,” H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said.
“The measures we have put in place will support all citizens of Equatorial Guinea, including oil & gas companies operating in the country. Once the difficult times are over, we remain confident that oil & gas operators and all of the people of Equatorial Guinea will be able to work together and getting back to work and putting the economy back on a growth trajectory,” he added.
From the beginning of the crisis, the MMH has recognized the need to double efforts on tackling ongoing industry challenges, and finding new ways to do business to ensure that Equatorial Guinea remains competitive. While the Year of Investment 2020 was recently postponed, it has already secured tremendous interests from local and international actors, with several projects such as the Alan gas monetization and the modular refinery moving forward.
“It is important that we plan our recovery efforts hand in hand with the industry so that we can move quickly and efficiently when market conditions stabilize. The recovery of the oil sector and the resumption of key projects under the Year of Investment is what will open up new jobs creation opportunities and create value for our economy and our investors,” concluded H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima.
From rallying to the global OPEC production cuts to signing a Ministerial Order extending all exploration blocks, Equatorial Guinea has quickly reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on its oil industry. Since the beginning of the crisis, several such measures have been discussed and considered between the MMH and the oil industry to continue making the country’s operating environment conducive for business.