Middle East / Africa

Gabon flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Gabon

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea
Climate: tropical; always hot, humid
Terrain: narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south
Size: 267667 sq. km total (Land area: 257667 sq. km  Water area: 10000 sq.km)
Population: 1,485,832
Languages: French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
Government: republic; multiparty presidential regime
Capital city: Libreville
Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note

Country profile

Gabon’s economy is highly dependent on oil production, with the country’s oil exports accounting for 51 percent of GDP and 63 percent of government revenues. Gabon’s per capita GDP is approximately $5,500, well above most of sub-Sarharan Africa. However, most of the population lives below the poverty line as evidenced by Gabon’s rating of 124 (out of 177) on the Human Development Index (HDI) and unemployment stands at about 40 percent.

Gabon hopes to increase growth in non-oil sectors as it is currently facing significant declines in both oil production and reserves. The country’s other main exports are timber, uranium and manganese but oil still represents 70 percent of the total exports. In recent years, Gabon has taken steps to market itself as a high end ecotourism destination. Nonetheless, the country is expected to continue relying on oil production in the near future.

In addition to declining oil production, Gabon is faced with high debt payments amounting to 40 percent of the annual government budget. In May 2007 the IMF approved a new US$ 117 million standby loan to support government efforts to expand the non-oil sectors of the economy.

Gabon is a relatively stable country located in the Gulf of Guinea. President Omar Bongo Ondimba has been in office since 1967 and is the longest serving head of state in Africa. In 2005 he was reelected for his seventh term through 2012. While there has been some localized social unrest it has not affected oil investment. Regionally, Gabon has been in a dispute with Equatorial Guinea over three islands in the Corsico Bay that could potentially contain oil deposits. The final status of the islands is still pending. Gabon is also a signatory to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative that supports governance and revenue transparency from the oil, gas and mining sectors. In 1996, Gabon retracted its membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC), citing the organization’s high annual dues as the reason.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 266,000 bbl/day (2005 est.) 95 million cu m (2005 est.)
Consumption: 13,000 bbl/day (2005 est.) 95 million cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 228,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)  
Imports: 2,436 bbl/day (2005 est.)  
Reserves: 1 billion bbl (2007 est.) 32 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Major fields:

Gabon - recent news

30 Apr 21
BW Energy announces 2021 trading update
BW Energy has provided an update on the operation and development of the Dussafu Marin license in Gabon. The Company will publish its financial report for the first quarter on 20 May 2021.
19 Apr 21
Gabon: BW Energy announces re-start of Dussafu license drilling campaign offshore Gabon
BW Energy has announced the re-start of a three-well drilling campaign on the Dussafu license offshore Gabon consisting of two exploration wells in the Hibiscus area and one production well on the Tortue field.
16 Apr 21
Gabon: Maersk Drilling secures one-well ultra-deepwater exploration contract in Gabon with PETRONAS
Maersk Drilling has been awarded a one-well contract with PETRONAS, for the provision of a deepwater drillship rig. The 7th generation drillship Maersk Viking will be employed to drill an ultra-deepwater exploration well at approx. 2,100 m water depth in Block F13 offshore Gabon.
26 Feb 21
Gabon: VAALCO announces closing of the acquisition of additional interest in the Etame field from Sasol
VAALCO Energy has now completed the previously announced acquisition of Sasol’s 27.8% working interest in the Etame Marin block offshore Gabon, increasing the Company’s total working interest to 58.8%.
28 Jan 21
Gabon: VAALCO enters into crude oil derivative contracts
VAALCO Energy is hedging a portion of its production volumes, excluding volumes attributable to acquiring Sasol’s interest in the Etame field, to protect cash flows which will be used to fund the 2021/2022 drilling program.

Gabon - more news

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