Over the last 50 years Gabon’s economy has been largely dependent on oil extraction and this continues to be true today. After reaching peak oil production in 1997, with an average of 370,000 barrels per day (bpd), maturing oil fields and slowing discovery rates have resulted in a decline in output to 245,000 bpd in 2012. Oil companies are embarking on major investment programmes to help boost production from a number of existing oil fields. Access to electricity and water continues to be a challenge, and the government is undertaking a number of reforms to help consolidate the sector. In addition to more conventional renewable resources such as hydro, solar and wind, the government is also exploring the potential of biomass by, for example, using wood waste to generate electricity.
This chapter contains interviews with Etienne Ngoubou, Minister of Petroleum, Energy and
Hydroelectric Resources; and Izak Elyashiv, CEO, Telemenia; as well as a viewpoint from Charles Tchen, CEO, Independent Petroleum Consultants.