Equatorial Guinea to join OPEC, agrees to production cuts

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea says it has submitted its interest to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2017.

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, travelled to Vienna on January 20 to meet with OPEC officials and present the Government of Equatorial Guinea’s offer to become the 14th member of the cartel.

With 32.5 million barrels per day of output projected this year, OPEC is the world’s largest organization of oil producers. The minister’s trip to Vienna followed the Fourth Africa-Arab Summit, which hosted, last November, several OPEC members in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea.

“For decades, Equatorial Guinea has achieved a sterling track record as a dependable supplier of petroleum to consumers in all corners of the world. We firmly believe that Equatorial Guinea’s interests are fully aligned with those of OPEC in serving the best interests of the industry, Africa and the global economy,” the minister said.

On December 10, 2016, Equatorial Guinea agreed to join 10 other non-OPEC countries to reduce 558,000 barrels per day of total oil production in 2017. Equatorial Guinea’s share of the cut is 12,000 barrels per day. Even through a two-year sustained slump in oil prices, Equatorial Guinea has maintained liquid output levels at a competitive level.

“There is a consensus amongst producers that an oversupply of oil has been dragging down the price of the barrel,” the Minister said. “Equatorial Guinea is doing its part to ensure stability in the market and that the industry continues to invest in exploring and developing our resources.”

Equatorial Guinea is the third largest oil and gas producer in sub-Saharan Africa. Its $10.6 billion of annual oil and gas exports account for 95 percent of the country’s total exports, with shipments sold every day to China, India, Japan, Korea and many other countries.

The country is investing in the entire energy supply chain through projects such as the Bioko Oil Terminal, the Fortuna Floating Liquefied Natural Gas project, the Riaba Fertilizers plant, compressed natural gas and LNG.

Equatorial Guinea is currently hosting its latest oil and gas licensing round, EG Ronda, putting on offer all of open acreage not currently operated or under direct negotiation.

The country has made 114 oil and gas discoveries to date with a drilling success rate of 42 percent.

SOURCE: Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea Vice President docked in France

Teodorin Obiang, the eldest son of Equatorial Guinea’s president , was put on trial in absence on Monday in France.

He is accused of buying palatial Parisian properties and exotic cars with money plundered from his native country, a small oil-rich state on Africa’s west coast.

Mr Obiang, who is also a vice-president of the country, denied the charges of laundering embezzled public funds, which expose him to a sentence of 10 years in jail and huge fines if convicted.

The case is the first of several to reach court in a broader judicial investigation into allegations of illicit acquisitions in France by long-time leaders and family relatives in several African countries including Gabon and Congo Republic.

Obiang stayed away but his lawyer requested that the trial be suspended on the grounds that his client had not been given enough time to properly prepare his defence in a complex case, having been summoned to trial just three weeks ago.

“We’re not talking about a moped theft charge,” Emmanuel Marsigny, his lawyer in Paris, told Reuters.

Among the acquisitions at the centre of the trial is a large property bought for 25 million Euros in 2005 on Paris’s upmarket Avenue Foch, with gymnasium, hammam steam room, hair-dressing studio and a discotheque with cinema screen.

In addition to luxury clothing and jewels, prosecutors say Mr. Obiang, 48, built up an exceptional collection of costly cars, which along with clothes, jewels and real estate took the value of all his assets to around 100 million Euros ($105 million).

Mr. Obiang says his purchases were above-board.

But prosecutors say the assets do not tally with his salary at the time of the purchases. According to a parallel U.S. inquiry, he earned $80,000 a year as farming and forestry minister, a post that obliged him to refrain from other business dealings.

Beyond Mr. Obiang’s case, the broader French probe known as the “ill-gotten asset” investigation concerns purchases in France by the family of Gabon leader Ali Bongo as well as Congo Republic leader Denis Sassou Nguesso.

Those two strands of inquiry, police say, concern more than 60 properties in Paris and 200 bank accounts.

The court said when it opened proceedings that it would decide on Wednesday whether the trial slated to end by mid-January would go ahead as planned or be suspended in response to the request from Obiang’s lawyer.

Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea Sign Agreement On Joint Patrols

Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea Tuesday in Malabo signed an agreement on the establishment of a combined Maritime Policing and Security Patrol Committee.

The conclusion and signing of the agreement is expected to enhance security in the Gulf of Guinea and help in curbing maritime crimes such as piracy, crude oil theft, sabotage of oil rigs and arms smuggling.

According to a communiqué issued at the end of President Buhari’s visit to Malabo, both countries also agreed to discuss greater cooperation on oil and gas production and a bilateral trade agreement.

It was further agreed that the Nigeria-Equatorial Guinea Joint Commission will be revived from its present state of dormancy and empowered to play its proper role in the strengthening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

President Muhammadu Buhari and President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo expressed satisfaction with the atmosphere of trust and solidarity that now exists between their countries.

In their talks during the two-day visit, the two leaders discussed sub-regional, regional and international issues including terrorism, violent extremism and the state of the global economy, especially as it affects Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

They also discussed the crises in some African countries and efforts by the African Union to achieve peace, stability and progress across the continent.

President Buhari who has since returned to Abuja thanked President Mbasogo and the people of Equatorial Guinea for the warm reception given to him and his delegation during the visit.

Credit: ChannelsTv

President Buhari Gets Equatorial Guinea’s Highest National Honour

President Muhammadu Buhari has been conferred with the highest national honour of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President was conferred with the national honour in Malabo on Monday for his personal integrity, exemplary leadership style and courage to fight terrorism in order to ensure peace and safety in Africa.

The honour of “Gran Collar De La Orden De La Independencia” translated “Grand Collar of the Order of the Independence” was said to have been conferred on Buhari by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea at the Presidential Palace.

At the investiture ceremony,  Buhari reportedly said the recognition was for the people of Nigeria who had worked tirelessly to sustain peace in the country and across other neighbouring countries in Africa.

“On behalf of my country, Nigeria, and the people, I will like to express profound gratitude for the honour given to me and my people. The reality of the situation now is that there had never been a time in history for greater neighbourliness, for security and economic stability than now,” he said.

The President said the challenges faced by African countries  had a common thread, and must be collectively appraised and jointly tackled by all the African countries.

Buhari assured the people that Nigeria would always support efforts of ensuring socio-political and economic stability of its neighbours and the entire African continent.

Earlier in his remarks,  Mbasogo said it was an honour for his country to confer the Highest National Honour on  Buhari on his first visit to the country.

“We are here to recognise the son of the soil. On this occasion, we deem it fit and appropriate to decorate the son of Africa for the great work he is doing in Africa, which includes tackling a great menace to the continent, Boko Haram, ” he said.

The President pledged his country’s support to Nigeria in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges.

Source – Punchng.com

Keshi Loses Out on Equatorial Guinea job

Speculations linking out-of-contract Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi with the vacant position of head coach of the  Equatorial Guinea national team have been put to rest with plans by that country’s football association to appoint Esteban Becker to replace Andoni Goikoetxea.

Equatorial Guinea have opted not to renew coach Goikoetxea’s contract, which expired on 31 December.
The country’s football association (FEGUIFUT) claims Goikoetxea breached his contract by not travelling to Portugal with the team on 16 December.

As a result Goikoetxea was sacked, a decision sanctioned by new FEGUIFUT president Andres Jorge Mbomio. Following the sack of the former handler, the 2013 Afcon-winning Keshi was widely speculated as his possible replacement. With the latest development from that country, Keshi whose place in Nigeria is still shrouded in uncertainty remains in limbo.

Equatorial Guinea have just over two weeks with the team before they kick off the Nations Cup against Congo on 17 January.

Argentine Becker, 50, was previously in charge of Equatorial Guinea’s women’s team, who he led to the 2012 Nations Cup title.

As well as facing Congo, Becker would lead his new team out against Burkina Faso and Gabon in Group A.
Equatorial Guinea stepped in as last-minute replacements for original hosts Morocco, who failed in their plea to the Confederation of African Football to postpone the tournament because of fears over the potential spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

As a result Equatorial Guinea were handed Morocco’s place at the finals, despite having been eliminated during qualifying after they were penalized for fielding an ineligible player.

Credit: www.vanguardngr.com