ExxonMobil, the third-largest crude oil and natural gas producer in the world with an average of 4.2m barrels produced daily, is back on the offensive in Africa.
In early December 2017, the Texas-based super major acquired three exploration blocks in Mauritania, a new oil Eldorado pioneered by US-based firm Kosmos Energy.
Around that same time, Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla announced that discussions were being held with the oil company for permits off the coast of Alexandria, a region that has regained explorer interest due to the gas discovery made in the supergiant Zohr field – the largest ever in Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea – by Italian multinational Eni in August 2015.
ExxonMobil, also the world’s largest listed oil producer, has recently dealt with Eni, having acquired a 25 percent interest at a cost of US$2.8bn in Mozambique’s gas-rich Area 4 block from the Rome-based company in mid-December.
Earlier this year, Exxon launched its latest venture, signing a deal on 18 January with the government of Ghana to explore the Deepwater Cape Three Point (DCTP) offshore oil block.
As the operator, the US firm holds an 80 percent stake; the state-run Ghana National Petroleum Corporation controls a 15 percent shareholding.
These huge investments made outside its two biggest sub-Saharan Africa bases of operation – Nigeria and Angola, where it produced an average of 253,000 and 169,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, respectively – show that Exxon is spreading its wings and preparing for the future.
It wants to stem the decline in its African production, from 594,000bpd in 2016 to a predicted 523,000bpd in 2018.
Source: The Africa Report