The Republic of the Congo, which gets 65 percent of its GDP from oil, plans to increase daily production to 300,000 barrels from the current 250,000 barrels over the next two years, the country’s Oil Minister said.
The increase will come mostly from one new field, the Moho Nord, which is part of the Moho Bilondo offshore block. The operator of the field is France’s Total, which said Moho Nord will produce some 140,000 bpd, which, when reached, would further add to Congo’s crude oil output. The country is already about to overtake Equatorial Guinea as the third-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Moho Bilondo project came online last December, with an initial production rate of 40,000 bpd. The investment in the project was US$10 billion and included the installation of a floating production unit with a daily processing capacity of 100,000 bpd. Total partners with Chevron on its development and with local state oil and gas company Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo.
The Moho Bilondo is the largest oil project in the history of the Congo Republic.
Italy’s Eni is also active in the country, focusing on offshore gas field development.
The country, which is the smaller neighbor of former Zaire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, recently reduced royalties for oil and gas in a bid to stimulate further investment in the industry. From 15 percent, oil royalties were cut to 12 percent, while gas royalties were slashed from 15 to 5 percent.
According to a legal adviser to the Oil Ministry, the move was prompted by the fact that a lot of producing fields in the Congo Republic had reached maturity but could still contain extractable hydrocarbons that needed more investments. Also, deepwater reserves need to be explored and exploited, which also requires a lot of money.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com