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Vol 38 No 7

Published 28th March 1997

Going with the flow

West Africa is becoming the most important region for oil exports after the Middle East and is beginning to exploit its gas

Exports of crude oil from Sub-Saharan Africa are set to grow fast in the next few years. Production was just under 3.5 million barrels a day in 1996; capacity in the year 2000 will reach almost 5 mn. b/d. The upward trend should continue, as producers move out of the shallow coastal waters and (if the geologists are right) start exploiting deeper offshore fields. Most of the activity is in West Africa and oil ministers, oil companies and bankers are meeting in Accra(1) from 2-4 April to work out how to manage the new oil rush. Also under discussion will be the agreement between the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Chevron, signed last month, for the sale and purchase of gas from the offshore Mefa and Okan fields as part of the West African gas pipeline project.

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