São Tomé and Príncipe and Equatorial Guinea have agreed to create a special zone for joint exploration to explore and expand cross-border oil and gas deposits in the blocks surrounding the maritime region of each country.
Following last year’s signing of cooperation agreements, São Tomé and Príncipe’s Minister of Public Works, Infrastructures, Natural Resources and Environment, H.E. Osvaldo Abreu and Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, met in Malabo this week to make a decision on the special zone.
The ministers addressed plans to intensify joint exploration activities in their respective blocks and expect to begin operations in October 2020. São Tomé and Príncipe would also benefit from Equatorial Guinea’s experience in the hydrocarbons field, especially with regard to the exploration, development and monetization of offshore oil and gas. Equatorial Guinea has also agreed to select students from São Tomé and Príncipe to study oil-related courses in the country.
São Tomé and Príncipe are considered to be an emerging frontier for oil and gas. This has also
attracted many foreign players to its blocks, including block 6 operator; Galp Energia and block 11 operator Kosmos Power. Shell also participates with 20% and 30% stakes respectively in both blocks. Galp announced at the beginning of the year that it will drill the first well in block 6 by the end of this year, following seismic surveys carried out since 2017.
São Tomé and Príncipe wishes to draw on the skills of their African partners, in their quest to open up a new petroleum frontier in African waters.