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Equatorial Guinea Signs Gazprom Deals

Source: Reuters 9/28/2010, Location: Africa

Equatorial Guinea has signed five oil concession deals, including two with Russia's Gazprom Neft, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The sub-Saharan nation, one of Africa's largest oil producers, has also picked U.S. firm KBR Inc to design a planned 20,000 barrel per day refinery, Gabriel Obiang Lima, minister delegate for mines, industry and energy said.

"We have signed five new (deals)...including two signed and ratified with Gazprom Neft," he told delegates at an energy conference in Cape Town.

In June sources told Reuters that Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom, planned to sign a production-sharing agreement with the African nation for two oil offshore blocks.

It has also signed a deal with privately held Glencore , the Swiss-based trading and mining giant, Obiang Lima said.

Equatorial Guinea expects oil production to jump by more than 100,000 barrels per day within two years as new offshore developments become ready.

The nation has chosen KBR to design a planned oil refinery, which is likely to cost less than the 300 million euros originally estimated, Obiang Liam told reporters on the sidelines of the conference.

He said the refinery at Mbini, on the central African country's Atlantic coast, was expected to come on stream by the end of 2012 or beginning 2013.

Obiang Lima said the government decided it would not continue developing a second methanol plant, but would rather construct a second liquid natural gas (LNG) plant, which he said was likely to cost around $800 million.

Equatorial Guinea in May forecast a three-fold increase in its gas reserves to 4.5 trillion cubic feet as it ramped up investment in its gas sector.

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