U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Country Analysis Note
- Equatorial Guinea's economy is heavily reliant on its oil and natural gas industry, which accounted for almost 95 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) and 99 percent of its export earnings in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund. Emphasis on the oil and natural gas industries has led to the lack of development in non-oil sectors, and as Equatorial Guinea's oil fields mature, the potential loss in revenue could adversely affect economic growth.
- Equatorial Guinea is the eighth-largest crude oil reserve holder in Sub-Saharan Africa, with 1.1 billion barrels of proved reserves as of January 2013. Proved natural gas reserves were 1.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) as of January 2013, the tenth-largest in the region. Much of these reserves are located offshore near the Bioko Island.
- Oil production averaged 318,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2012, below its peak of 369,000 bbl/d in 2007. Production originates entirely from offshore fields.
- The Zafiro field has been the backbone of the country's oil production, but its current output has more than halved since its peak, leaving the country eager to start production from new fields. Despite the recent start of the Alen field, which is producing gas-condensate, new production is not enough to offset natural declines.
- Despite being among the top five largest oil producers in Sub-Saharan Africa, Equatorial Guinea does not have any refining capacity. The country consumed 2,500 bbl/d of petroleum in 2012, all of which was imported. The government has announced plans to open a 20,000-bbl/d refinery in Mbini, but the project has been slow to develop.
- Equatorial Guinea exports crude oil to markets in North America, Europe, and Asia. The United States is one of the largest importers of crude oil from Equatorial Guinea and received 41,000 bbl/d of crude oil from Equatorial Guinea in 2012.
- GEPetrol is Equatorial Guinea's national oil company, which was created in 2001. The company manages the government's interest in production sharing agreements and joint ventures with international oil companies. GEPetrol is also responsible for marketing, oil licensing, and hydrocarbon policy implementation.
- The largest foreign investors in Equatorial Guinea are U.S. companies, particularly ExxonMobil, Hess, Marathon, and Noble Energy, although European and Chinese companies have started to play a role in Equatorial Guinea's hydrocarbon sector.
- Equatorial Guinea is a net exporter of natural gas. Dry natural gas production has increased rapidly from 1 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 2001 to 243 Bcf in 2011. Domestic consumption also grew over the same period, but at a much slower pace from 1 Bcf to 57 Bcf. Â Equatorial Guinea has the resources to increase dry natural gas production, but much of its associated gas is currently flared or re-injected. There have been a number of natural gas discoveries in Ophir Energy's Fortuna Complex that may boost production in the future.
- Most of Equatorial Guinea's dry natural gas production is exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Â The country has one LNG plant, the Punta Europa (ELNG), located on Bioko Island. ELNG came online in 2007 with one train and is fed with natural gas produced at the Alba field. A second train is slated to come online in 2016, but plans have been delayed in the past because of concerns over feedgas availability. ELNG operators have signed memoranda of understanding with Cameroon and Nigeria to purchase natural gas from those countries to feed the planned second train.
- Equatorial Guinea exported around 173 Bcf of LNG in 2012, according to FACTS Global Energy. Around 77 percent was sent to Japan, with the remainder sent to South Korea, Taiwan, Chile, and Greece.
- Equatorial Guinea's other state-owned hydrocarbon company, Sociedad Nacional de Gas de Guinea Ecuatorial (Sonagas), manages the country's natural gas assets, as well as the industrial and residential gas markets. The company is also in charge of the distribution, marketing, and exploration of natural gas.
- Many parts of the country rely on independent local generators for electricity as opposed to the national grid. The country has a national grid, but aging infrastructure and poor management has led to issues with reliability. Companies in the oil and gas industry have built their own power facilities to support their operations, according to IHS CERA.
- The country has significant hydropower potential, and currently the vast majority of its total installed capacity comes from hydro power plants. In October 2012, a new hydropower plant, at the Djibloho dam on the Wele River, went online and boosted electricity capacity.
Analysis Last Updated: August 2013
Overview data for Equatorial Guinea+ EXPAND ALL
-- = Not applicable; NA = Not available; E = Estimate value
Sources: EIA. For more detailed data, see International Energy Statistics.
Data last updated: May 30, 2013
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