Gabon will encourage Japanese companies to participate in the ongoing exercise to licence 35 offshore blocks, Minister of Oil, Gas & Mines Vincent de Paul Massassa told the Resident Representative in Libreville for the Japan International Corporation Agency, Yonezaki Eiro.

Under Gabon’s 12the Licensing Round, suitors may apply for 12 shallow-water blocks and 23 deep offshore blocks under terms and conditions reflected in a new Petroleum Code and promoted since 2018 in South Africa, the US, Brazil, India, China, Russia, Singapore and Equatorial Guinea.

Just days earlier, Massassa urged South Korea Ambassador Chang Soo Ryu to help Gabon realise its potential exploiting raw materials including oil and gas “with South Korea’s proven technological expertise."

Gabon has struggled to pique interest in the licensing round despite adjustments to a fiscal regime which the industry slammed as onerous and discouraging to fresh entrants.


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Petronas acquired two offshore blocks last year outside of the current exercise while Total moved this summer to offload minority stakes in seven Perenco-operated offshore fields, while indicating its commitment to those producing assets that it operates.