Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) will waive fees normally charged to service companies operating in its territory in the wake of low oil prices and conditions exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the African Energy Chamber (AEC).

The action has been taken as part of an industry-wide dialogue, initiated by the government, to consider other measures to relieve upstream operators and ongoing midstream projects, according to an AEC statement.

“A unanimous decision to waive fees charged to services companies for a duration of three months will allow our local service companies to weather the storm and avoid jobs loss,” said Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima.

“While it is important to let market forces determine the future, the government has a role to play in creating an environment for companies to stay strong, continue investing and to create opportunities for our citizens,”

This measure does not mean that international operators can cease compliance with local content requirements in the downturn although the government will consider additional action to bring relief to its oil and gas sector, according to the statement.