US supermajor Chevron has been awarded a promising exploration block offshore Equatorial Guinea, building on its presence in the West African nation after acquiring Noble Energy in late 2020.

Chevron has signed an agreement with the Bata-based government covering Block EG 09 in the Douala basin adjacent to the maritime boundary with Cameroon where the California-based player also operates the Yoyo discovery.

Chevron will operate the block with an 80% stake with state-owned GePetrol holding the remaining 20%.

The US giant currently produces oil from its Aseng in Block I and gas condensate from its Alen field in Block O. EG 09 is located immediately south of Block I.

Aseng produces via a floating production storage and offloading vessel, while Alen is being exploited through a fixed platform.

Gas is piped west to Bioko Island for use in the Marathon-operated liquefied natural gas plant.

Block EG 09 was previously explored by South Africa’s state oil company PetroSA and, according to Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines & Hydrocarbons, “has the potential to hold sizeable oil and gas reserves owing to its close proximity to other blocks where large-scale discoveries have been made”.

Hydrocarbons Minister Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima added: “We welcome this agreement as this is a confirmation of the amazing prospects that still exist in Block EG09. With the right exploration game and technology, we believe that Chevron will be successful in delivering hydrocarbons that will further position Equatorial Guinea as a top African producer.”

Equatorial Guinea’s gas reserves are estimated at 1.5 trillion cubic feet while oil reserves are estimated at 1.1 billion barrels, said the ministry, which has ambitions to create a gas “mega hub” on Bioko Island that could also host gas piped from neighbouring Cameroon from assets operated by both Chevron and third parties.

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