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15

OPEC bulletin 5–7/17

C o n f e r e n c e N o t e s

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima

Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy

E

quatorial Guinea’s Minister of Industry, Mines and

Energy, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, stated he

was very pleased that OPEC had accepted his country’s

request to join the Organization. The decision was taken

during the 172

nd

Meeting of the Conference on May 25

and was announced when all Ministers briefly exited their

closed talk session for a photo opportunity with the new-

est OPEC Member.

Obiang Lima said the country decided to join OPEC

after enduring the struggles that all producers had

been through following the oil price drop that started

in mid-2014. “We believe that it is better that oil pro-

ducers work together” he said, and stated that it is very

important to join an organization like OPEC that is able

to provide information which helps in taking future deci-

sions related to projects. The government decided it

was “clearly the best moment”, but Obiang Lima added

the country also joined because there are a lot of OPEC

Members with a lot of experience and, “we can exchange

that experience and allow us to go on to the next phase

(of development).”

He stated that OPEC has fared well over the years and

added that it has become an extremely relevant global

organization. “Usually you know the relevance of an

organization not in the good times, but in the bad times,

and this has clearly been a good example because OPEC

has stepped in at a very important moment. We believe

it has stabilized very volatile pricing and we believe that

by continuing to work together, we can continue to see

benefits for a long time for everybody.”

Cooperation important

Obiang Lima said he has learned a lot through the OPEC

and non-OPEC talks. He added that he thinks such coop-

eration is very important and points out that all produc-

ers have equal interest in the situation. “We are export-

ers and as exporters we need to make sure we have an

equitable supply and price, because that will allow us to

continue with our projects and continue with our invest-

ment. Not having the right price will impact us and in the

future it will impact consumers too.” He added that it is

very important that non-OPEC producers continue to work

with OPEC Members.

Equatorial Guinea is currently producing 348,000

barrels of oil equivalent/day, which includes crude oil,

condensate, LPG and LNG. Crude oil alone accounts for

around 200,000 b/d, said the Minister. As a very small

country, it is focusing more on exploration, refining and

exporting. Much of the product from refineries is for

export, he added.

“We are focusing more on exploration and one of the

key focus areas is gas, but still we are producing oil. We

believe the refining sector is a very important stage for

a country like Equatorial Guinea, so we can have added

value for our products rather than just exporting the

crude.”