Equatorial Guinea is situated at the hub of the dynamic offshore West Africa Petroleum Province and is now established as a significant petroleum producing nation. Vigorous exploration during the 1990's combined with rapid field development has resulted in daily production rising from less than 5,000 bopd in 1992 to a 2012 average that exceeded 410,000 boepd.
Exciting new developments have included the Triton Energy's Ceiba field which was discovered in October 1999, and thanks to a remarkably speedy and technically excellent development plan, was producing first oil in November 2000. Ceiba defined a new petroleum system in Equatorial Guinea's Rio Muni Basin and further exploration success has been made with the discovery of the Okume Complex of fields, which commenced production in 2008.
More recently, in July 2009 the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy announced approval of the Aseng Plan of Development in Block I. Formerly known as Benita, Aseng was originally discovered in 2007 as a gas-condensate field. Subsequently, two appraisal wells were drilled in the structure, with the first identifying the oil resources and the second determining downdip reservoir limits. Initial development of the field will include five subsea wells flowing to a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel (FPSO) where the production stream will be separated.
Equatorial Guinea's traditional producing area offshore Bioko island continues to expand with increased production at ExxonMobil's Zafiro field and Marathon's Alba field. Production from the Alba gas condensate field is now feeding a $400 million methanol plant on Bioko island, a $1.4 billion LNG plant and has removed the need for major gas-flaring.
Fields developed in the period 1996 – 2011 are the 1.1 billion barrel ExxonMobil operated Zafiro Field, offshore Bioko Island which came onstream in 1996, the Amerada operated Ceiba Field, which defined a new petroleum system in Equatorial Guinea’s Rio Muni Basin, discovered in 1999 and brought onstream in November 2000, the Amerada Operated Okume Complex, also in the Rio Muni Basin, which commenced production in 2006 and the Noble operated Aseng Field, located in the Equatorial Guinea part of the Douala Basin, offshore Bioko Island, discovered in 2007 and which produced first oil on November 6th, 2011.
During the early 2000’s the Marathon operated Alba Field underwent a significant expansion programme and now produces in excess of 800 mmcf gas per day, which feeds the Atlantic Methanol Producing Company (AMPCO) Methanol Plant and the Equatorial Guinea Liquified Natural Gas (EGLNG) Plant. The construction of the Methanol and LNG Plant eliminated gas flaring from the field.
The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy has already commenced work on an Integrated Gas Gathering Project to capture stranded gas in Equatorial Guinea and the surrounding region including the possibility of constructing a 2nd LNG train and a petrochemicals plant on Bioko Island and the construction of a 20,000 bopd refinery at Mbini on the mainland coast. Other future projects include the construction of a petrochemical plant on Bioko Island utilising methanol from the AMPCO plant and the construction of a crude oil and products storage terminal on Bioko Island.