The African Energy Chamber is calling for the security and safety of energy operations and personnel, citing disruptions to the industry as an attack on economic progress.
The African Energy Chamber (AEC) urges political and military players in Gabon not to interfere with the country’s oil and gas assets and operations, as tensions rise following the country’s most recent national election. Serving as the voice of the African energy sector, the AEC acknowledges the crucial importance these assets play in creating market stability, driving economic growth while improving the lives of the population. The announcement of a coup by military officers this week has created uncertainty regarding oil and gas operations, and the AEC strongly calls for a collective approach to protecting assets.
Gabon held its most recent national election this week, whereby, following the announcement that President Ali Bongo had won a third term, a group of high-level military officers seized control, citing lack of transparency, credibility and inclusivity in the election process. The military group believes the country to be in a state of political, economic and social crisis, and have seized power in an attempt to “defend peace.” In this current state of conflict, the country’s oil and gas assets – all of which contribute significantly towards Gabon’s economy, providing jobs and opportunities for the population – are at risk.
Currently, active oil and gas companies in Gabon have stated that their operations have not been impacted, and that the safety and security of workers is of uttermost priority. These include TotalEnergies, who is prioritizing the safety of employees and operations; Tullow and Perenco, both of which are closely monitoring the situation; Maurel & Prom, stating that all employees are safe; BW Energy, stating that all offshore operations have continued as normal, and many more. However, as tensions mount, concerns are rising that oil and gas activities could be halted.
“At a time such as this, there needs to be assurance from all sides that Gabon’s oil and gas activities will not be impacted. The country needs its hydrocarbons to function, grow and thrive. Any disruptions to oil and gas activities will result in significant challenges for the country, its citizens and its development. As such, the Chamber strongly calls for a collective approach to protecting these assets and ensuring stability and security across this industry,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
Gabon’s energy industry is multifaceted, with developments taking place across ever segment of the value chain. Representing a pillar of the country’s economy, oil and gas is responsible for generating income, creating employment and advancing the livelihoods of the population. The country holds two billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and major projects in the country include the Hibiscus/Ruche development; the Cap Lopez oil terminal and Liquefied Natural Gas facility; the Etame Conventional Oilfield and many more. Protecting these assets should be a top priority, and the Chamber strongly advocates for security regarding Gabonese oil and gas operations.