Middle East / Africa

Equatorial Guinea flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Equatorial Guinea

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Cameroon and Gabon
Climate: tropical; always hot, humid
Terrain: coastal plains rise to interior hills; islands are volcanic
Size: 28051 sq. km total (Land area: 28051 sq. km )
Population: 616,459 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Spanish 67.6% (official), other 32.4% (includes French (official), Fang, Bubi) (1994 census)
Government: republic
Capital city: Malabo
Legal system: partly based on Spanish civil law and tribal custom; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note

Country profile

Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and has become Sub-Saharan Africa’s third largest oil exporter after Nigeria and Angola. According to the World Bank, oil revenues increased in value from $3 million in 1993 to $190 million in 2000 to $3.3 billion in 2006. From 2002 to 2006 the country experienced an average real annual GDP growth of 15.8 percent. Oil exports currently represent over 90 percent of total export earnings. However, a slowdown in oil production has caused GDP growth to decelerate to 6.8 percent in 2007. Equatorial Guinea is a sub-Saharan African country consisting of a mainland area (Rio Muni province) and a series of islands.

The country’s capital, Malabo, is located on Bioko Island, approximately 25 miles off the coast of Cameroon. Despite the rapid growth in real GDP, allegations abound over how the Equatoguinean government has misappropriated its oil revenues. While the government has made some infrastructure improvements to bolster the oil industry, the average Equatoguinean has yet to experience a higher standard of living from the oil revenues as evidenced by the country’s ranking of 120 (out of 177) on the human development index in 2006. In January 2005, Equatorial Guinea pledged to increase transparency in its oil revenues and is currently implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Currently, foreign oil companies are beginning to make development related investments in education (Amerada Hess) and malaria prevention (Marathon Oil and Noble Energy). Territorial Disputes In recent years, Equatorial Guinea and its neighbors have expanded their offshore oil exploration, which has increased the importance of maritime borders. In March 1999, President Obiang unilaterally adopted an equidistant median line that defined territorial boundaries as stipulated under the U.N.

Convention on the Law of the Sea. Cameroon, Sao Tome & Principe, and Nigeria accepted the decision as an improvement over the often disputed traditional boundaries. Since the 1970’s, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon have disputed the ownership of three islands in the Gulf of Guinea, including Mbagne Island. In July 2004, the two countries reached an agreement allowing joint oil exploration in the disputed territories. In February 2006, the presidents of both countries met in Geneva, Switzerland and under U.N. mediation they agreed to resolve any major outstanding border issues by 2007.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 396,100 bbl/day (2005 est.) 1 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Consumption: 1,000 bbl/day (2005 est.) 1 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 371,700 bbl/day (2004 est.)  
Imports: 1,026 bbl/day (2004 est.)  
Reserves: 563  million bbl (1 January 2002 est.) 35 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Major fields:

Equatorial Guinea - recent news

05 May 21
Panoro Energy has announced that the DHIBM-2 Hibiscus Extension well did not encounter hydrocarbons in the target Gamba reservoir
Panoro Energy has announced that the DHIBM-2 Hibiscus Extension well did not encounter hydrocarbons in the target Gamba reservoir. The Borr Norve jackup rig, currently drilling the DHIBM-2 well, has drilled through the main targeted Gamba sandstone in a structurally high position but logging results indicate that the Gamba is water wet and no hydrocarbon shows were encountered to date.
01 Apr 21
Equatorial Guinea: Tullow completes sale of its assets in Equatorial Guinea to Panoro Energy
Tullow Oil has announced that the sale of its assets in Equatorial Guinea to Panoro Energy has now completed. Tullow has received a payment of $88.8 million from Panoro.
25 Jan 21
Equatorial Guinea: TDI-Brooks International completes geophysical and geotechnical campaign off Equatorial Guinea
TDI-Brooks International has completed a geophysical and geotechnical (G&G) campaign for Trident Equatorial Guinea off the coast of Equatorial Guinea in the Elon Field. The site survey work was performed off the R/V Proteus, a research vessel owned and operated by TDI-Brooks.
12 May 20
Equatorial Guinea: Russia's Rosgeo signs contracts for work in Equatorial Guinea
Subsidiaries of Russia's Rosgeologiya, Zarubezhgeologiya and Yuzhmorgeologiya have signed with the Ministry of Mining and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea contracts for the first stage of work on seismic research in the transit zone and state mapping in the Rio Muni region, Equatorial Guinea.
05 Feb 20
Equatorial Guinea: Trident Energy commences new 4D seismic survey over its Block G assets
Trident Energy has commenced 4D seismic acquisition operations over its Block G assets, which contain the Ceiba and Okume fields, and are situated 15 km offshore Equatorial Guinea in water depths ranging from 100 to 1,200m. The acquisition is being carried out by Polarcus Naila.

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