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Gabon Signs Offshore Oil-Production Sharing Deal With Petronas

Kamlesh Bhuckory

(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s state-owned oil company has signed an agreement with Gabon for two exploration permits after the African country enacted a new oil law last month, the government said in a statement citing Noel Mboumba, Gabon’s petroleum minister.

Petroliam Nasional Bhd, known as Petronas, already has a presence in Gabon and is the first company to sign an exploration and production contract in the country in five years, according to the statement. The deal follows the enactment of a revised hydrocarbons code last month, made with the support of the International Monetary Fund. The new code is more fiscally attractive than the previous one, the statement said citing Mboumba.

Like several other Central African nations, Gabon -- a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries -- relies on oil revenue. Despite a slump in production, the country sees potential in offshore output, according to Mboumba. Gabon recently put 35 oil blocks for sale, Radio Francaise International reported. The deal with Petronas is for offshore blocks F12 and F13. Once developed, the blocks will have a production of 200,000 barrels per day, the government’s statement said.

(Adds details on blocks and production from third paragraph.)

--With assistance from Eric Mbog Batassi and Katarina Hoije.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Port Louis at kbhuckory1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net, Brian Wingfield

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