The African Energy Chamber has called for the security and safety of energy operations and people, describing industry interruptions as an attack on economic progress.
As tensions build in Gabon following the country’s most recent national election, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) advises political and military parties not to interfere with the country’s oil and gas assets and activities. As the African energy sector’s voice, the AEC recognizes the critical role these assets play in creating market stability, fostering economic progress, and improving people’s lives. The announcement of a coup by military officials this week has caused concern in oil and gas activities, and the AEC strongly urges a collaborative approach to asset protection
Gabon had its most recent national election this week, and when President Ali Bongo was announced to have won a third term, a group of high-level military commanders took over, citing a lack of openness, credibility, and inclusivity in the election process. The military organization believes the country is in a political, economic, and social crisis and has seized control in order to “defend peace.” The country’s oil and gas assets, which all contribute considerably to Gabon’s economy by providing jobs and opportunities for the population, are under threat in the current state of conflict.
Currently, active oil and gas businesses in Gabon have said that their activities have not been disrupted, and that worker safety and security is of the utmost importance. TotalEnergies is prioritizing employee and operational safety; Tullow and Perenco are both closely monitoring the situation; Maurel & Prom has stated that all employees are safe; BW Energy has stated that all offshore operations have continued as normal; and many more. However, as tensions rise, there is growing danger that oil and gas operations may be suspended.
“At a time such as this, there needs to be assurance from all sides that Gabon’s oil and gas activities will not be impacted. The country needs its hydrocarbons to function, grow, and thrive. Any disruptions to oil and gas activities will result in significant challenges for the country, its citizens, and its development. As such, the Chamber strongly calls for a collective approach to protecting these assets and ensuring stability and security across this industry,” states N Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
Gabon’s energy industry is multifaceted, with developments taking place across ever segment of the value chain. Representing a pillar of the country’s economy, oil and gas is responsible for generating income, creating employment, and advancing the livelihoods of the population. The country holds two billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and major projects in the country include the Hibiscus/Ruche development; the Cap Lopez oil terminal and Liquefied Natural Gas facility; the Etame Conventional Oilfield and many more. Protecting these assets should be a top priority, and the Chamber strongly advocates for security regarding Gabonese oil and gas operations.