EQUATORIAL GUINEA – Equatorial Guinea, one of the Africa’s oil producing nation has said that it expects major investments in the oil and gas sector in 2020.

The country on the west coast of Central Africa estimates US$1.2 billion in investments and a contingent forecast of $273 million into its hydrocarbon sector in 2020.

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons released the estimates after technical negotiations with oil and gas companies.

The ministry said that Equatorial Guinea is actively pursuing international investors in an effort to increase exploration activity and boost its oil and gas sector.

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) has already concluded its evaluation of work programs and budget meetings of multiple oil blocks in the country, corresponding to the 2020 fiscal year, which has yielded many successful results.

“A major outcome of these meetings is the expected direct investment of a minimum of US$1.4 billion; a firm US$1.2 billion and a contingent forecast of US$273 million predicted for 2020, associated with the drilling of two wells and the continuous development of six existing wells,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to MMH, the expected investment will support several oil fields projects, aid in the generation of reservoir models and assist in the preparation of drilling equipment in identified prospects up until the first quarter of 2021.

The investment will also generate a robust amount of direct and indirect jobs in the country’s hydrocarbon sector specifically for citizens of Equatorial Guinea.

“We expect 2020 to be the biggest year of investment in Equatorial Guinea’s hydrocarbons industry in years.

This is a strong sign of our industry’s enduring attractiveness and will enable us to continue increasing oil and gas production, support local companies and create jobs.” Stated H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons.

In 2019, Noble Energy, Trident Energy and Kosmos Energy, all made offshore discoveries and will enter 2020 doing further appraisals.

Those offshore campaigns are expected to yield positive results in Equatorial Guinea’s efforts to reverse oil production declines.

Noble Energy made a new discovery in Block 1 offshore Equatorial Guinea in August and Trident and Kosmos Energy made a joint oil discovery at the S-5 well in November.

Equatorial Guinea’s economy relies heavily on its oil and natural gas industry, which accounted for more than 60% of its gross domestic product (GDP), 80% of its fiscal revenue, and 86% of its exports in 2015, according to the latest estimates from the International Monetary Fund’s country reports.

Recent declines in production and the increasingly volatile prices of oil in the international market have adversely affected the country’s economy.

The government thus hopes that increased investment in the sector will help the sector which is the backbone of the national economy.