- Oil production undergirds Gabon’s economy, accounting for 45 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 60 percent of government revenue, according to the World Bank.
- Aging oil fields are placing pressure on the Gabonese government to increase economic diversification efforts, as oil output has declined by about 34 percent since its peak in 1997. As a result, Gabon has dropped from being the third largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa to the sixth
- Current interest lies in the pre-salt areas in deep water offshore, which is very similar to the prolific Brazil fields
- 1967 - The Sogara Refinery was commissioned
- 1987 - Société Nationale Petrolière Gabonaise, the national oil company was disbanded
- 1996 - Gabon resigned from OPEC
- 2008 - Redevelopment project launched for Anguille Oil Field
- 2013 - Gabon's Ministry of Energy awarded 13 oil and natural gas blocks to 11 companies, as part of a deepwater licensing round
- A Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) autonomous, responsible for the implementation of oil policy defined by the state, management and development of national resources into hydrocarbons was established by Decree No. 346/PR / MOEHR April 22, 1977. It is the tool of intervention and state control over oil activities. It has specifically established in January 1978 with the appointment of its CEO.
- Although ownership of oil and gas resources is vested in the state, foreign companies are allowed to take large equity stakes in exploration and development through production-sharing contracts (PSCs).
- Gabon has 2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, the fourth-largest in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria, Angola, and Sudan. The country’s production of crude oil and lease condensate has decreased by about one-third from its peak of 370,000 bbl/d in 1997 to 246,000 bbl/d in 2010.
- Most of Gabon’s oil fields are located in the Port-Gentil area and are both onshore and offshore.
- Historically, Gabon’s oil production has been concentrated in one large oil field and supported by several smaller fields. As the largest field matured and production declined, a larger field would emerge and replace dwindling production. Dominant fields have included Gamba/Ivinga/Totou (1967-1973), Grondin Mandaros Area (1974-1984), and Rabi (1989-2010).
- Gabon’s greatest success, the Rabi Oil Field, significantly boosted the country’s total output in the 1990s and reached 217,000 bbl/d at its peak in 1997. Although Rabi is still one of Gabon’s largest producing fields, it has matured and production has gradually declined to about 23,000 bbl/d in 2010.
- Since Rabi’s descend, a new large field has not yet emerged, since recent exploration has yielded only modest finds.
- Total Gabon operates thirty fields, mostly offshore, developed over the last fifty years.
- Shell has operated in Gabon since the early 1960’s when it discovered oil in the Gamba area. It currently produces some 65,000 bbls of oil a day from five fields
- Perenco began operations in Gabon in 1992 with the acquisition of four offshore fields south of Port-Gentil. An ambitious strategy of development and acquisition has resulted in current production of 65,000 bopd through 29 offshore and onshore licences.
- Ophir Energy, ExxonMobil, Eni, and Repsol, are among recent entrants
- The Rabi to Gamba Crude Pipeline is a 123-km (76-mile), 18-inch crude oil pipeline joining the large Rabi Oil Field to the coast
- There are no LNG terminals or projects in the country
- There is one refinery in operation, the Sogara Refinery which was commissioned in 1967
- The government plans to replace this refinery with the Mandji Island Refinery Project