Producing approximately 89m barrels in 2011, Gabon is currently the sixth-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. While oil production has been on a steady decline since peaking in the late 1990s, offshore and deepwater fields remain largely untapped. Given greater industrialisation, growth is expected to occur in electricity generation, with new generators and three new dams currently under construction. A number of challenges remain for the industry in the medium term. These include the country’s new hydrocarbons code, which has yet to be passed (and for which IOCs must wait before they can begin exploration on new fields) and the fact that deepwater exploration and production is an expensive and logistically difficult for the country.
This chapter contains interviews with Etienne Ngoubou, Minister of Petroleum; Serge Toulekima, Managing Director, Gabon Oil Company; and Robert L Gerry, Chairman and CEO, VAALCO Energy.