Exxon is beating a retreat from its assets in Equatorial Guinea, where it has been operating for some time.
The company has reached an agreement with Equatorial Guinea, a representative confirmed to Energy Voice. The agreement covers the “orderly transfer” of Mobil Equatorial Guinea Inc.’s (MEGI) stake in Block B to the state. Block B holds the Zafiro field.
“The safety of our employees, the environment and local community remains our priority through the transition,” an Exxon official said. The Zafiro Producer vessel left Equatorial Guinea earlier this year for decommissioning.
Equatorial Guinea Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue said state-backed Gepetrol was on the way to increasing its operational capacity.
Exxon’s licence “will soon expire and both its operations and assets will pass to the [Equatorial Guinea] government and then to Gepetrol”, he said.
Meanwhile, Chevron is reported to be working on expanding its footprint in Equatorial Guinea. Enverus’ Africa manager, Jimmy Boulter, on LinkedIn reported that Gepetrol expected to sign new agreements on EG-06 and EG-11 by the end of 2023.
“The unnamed company involved appears to be Chevron”, Boulter said, citing a meeting in July with Gepetrol. Chevron has not yet responded to a request for comment on the Equatorial Guinea expansion.
Exxon relinquished EG-06 and EG-11 in 2021, Boulter noted.
Chevron is in the process of buying Hess, which has substantial US shale and Guyana exposure. Hess was working in Equatorial Guinea until 2017, when it sold down its assets to Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy.
Exxon has also seen improved terms agreed in Angola. The regulator, Agência Nacional de Petróleo, Gás e Biocombustíveis (ANPG), said that it had improved the tax terms for Exxon in the Namibe Basin.
ANPG said this would cover the risk service contracts and the extension of the initial research phase on Blocks 30, 44 and 41. The move was captured in a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Additionally, Ghanaian Energy Minister Matthew Opoku Prempeh was reported this week as saying Exxon was interested in a return to the offshore upstream.
Exxon had an 80% stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points. It relinquished the stake in 2021, the same year it relinquished two blocks in Equatorial Guinea. The company’s exit from Ghana was seen as a major blow to the country’s prospects.
Ghana is offering acreage to investors, including Exxon’s old licence. The company held a roadshow early this year, offering some blocks for direct negotiation.
Exxon declined to comment on the Ghana speculation.