Fast Market Research recommends "Gabon Oil & Gas Report Q2 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/03/2013 -- We expect oil production in Gabon to fall slightly in 2013 to 243,000 barrels per day (b/d), compared to 244,000b/d in 2011. Over the course of our forecast period, we expect production to continue trending downward to reach 235,000b/d in 2017. Although a planned offshore licensing round and continued offshore exploration - including recent discoveries - hold upside risk to our forecasts, without additional volumes from new discoveries Gabon's oil production is set to decline as output falls from maturing fields. Efforts to develop the country's gas potential hold the prospect of further gains, as does a proposed new refinery that would allow the country to become a net exporter of refined products. Yet we highlight enduring labour sector tensions, underscored by a recent strike, as well as troubling reports of negative developments in Gabon's business environment as downside risks to efforts to attract new investment to its oil sector.
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The main trends and developments we highlight for Gabon's oil and gas sector are as follows:
- BMI expects oil production to fall from 246,000b/d in 2012, to 235,000b/d in 2017, as increased production elsewhere fails to offset the declines from maturing fields.
- Planned deepwater exploration and a proposed regulatory overhaul in advance of the deepwater licensing round set for June 2013 hold the largest upside risk to our outlook, although the commercialisation of any discoveries following the licensing round may be outside our current forecast. The introduction of more attractive terms ahead of the offshore licensing round may not be enough to support strong interest in the country's bidding round, tentatively set for June 2013, despite prospective offshore acreage. Reports that the government is using audits to demand clawback provisions and increase its equity stakes in existing licences could undermine the country's attractive business environment and undermine interest in the blocks on offer.
- With tensions between oil sector works and the government still high following mass strikes which saw nearly all production offline for several days in 2010 and more limited disruptions following a recent week-long strike in March, the government's efforts to revamp its regulatory framework could be undermined by labour unions.
- However, reports in late March that the government was in advanced talks with oil companies such as Shell and Total for some of the 42 blocks open for bidding suggest interest - at least among larger international oil companies (IOCs) - remains, despite above-ground developments. Yet, rising stakes for the state could limit the attractiveness of Gabon's acreage to smaller independents.
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