Equatorial Guinea strives to become a frontrunner

Image Source: by CodeCarvings Piczard

WITH reserves of over 1.1 billion barrels of oil and 1.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the small but formidable nation of Equatorial Guinea (EG) has ambitious to position itself as an African hydrocarbon hub. In an exclusive interview with the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org), H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Equatorial Guinea, provided updates on the country’s oil industry and how the government is driving natural gas growth and development.

What needs to be done to position Africa as a competitive gas economy?

That is very simple to answer – infrastructure to import and export gas. There is not a port or terminal in Morocco, South Africa, or Ghana that is able to receive a shipment. Infrastructure is going to be critical. Investors in Europe may be selling solutions to be able to put as many terminals as possible, which will allow us to export gas to them. That is what we need in order to be competitive in gas.

How will the European Union’s recent decision to label certain gas projects as green impact gas-producing states such as EG?

The vision for the Gas Mega Hub will enable Equatorial Guinea to receive gas, not only from Equatorial Guinea but also from Cameroon and Nigeria. That development requires investments. Those investors will not only be Africans, but they will also be American, Asian, and Europeans because they have a lot of experience. If those Europeans have a lot of restrictions when it comes to investing in gas, there will be problems. A lot of those Europeans will be very interested in participating when they see what we are doing.

Can you give an update on the status of the new effort to build the refinery?

If we did that project one or two years ago, it would make sense. Right now, we have a situation where the oil price is high and there is not a sense that the oil price is going lower. Right now, doing a small-scale petrochemical or small-scale refinery would still be a big challenge in order to make a commercial effect.

What is EG’s position when it comes to renewables and topics such as energy transition and climate change?

Like I always say, the transition needs to happen everywhere. Every country needs to do it, including Equatorial Guinea. We need to put together the technology that is right for the country. Country to country there is some technology that makes sense and other technology that doesn’t make sense. For example, one of the technologies that I am open to is hydrogen. We need to think about not just investing in that technology but also to ensure that there is a market for it.

Contact sales@cbn.co.za to enquire about our digital marketing options
Contact sales@cbn.co.za to enquire about our digital marketing options