Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva continued his four-nation diplomatic shuttle on behalf of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as he held a bilateral meeting on Tuesday with his Equatorial Guinea counterpart in the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons on issues of common interest for the countries.
Part of the meeting at the presidential palace in Malabo with the Equatorial Guinea Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Mr Sylva signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to consolidate new opportunities for the hydrocarbons sector development for Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
Mr Sylva who spoke at the meeting of Nigeria desire to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, said the MoU would allow the counterparts to collaborate on maritime piracy protection strategies as security remains a major concern for energy infrastructure, with attacks reaching record highs in the Gulf of Guinea.
The two ministers also agreed to expedite action on the joint cross-border cooperation for the supply of natural gas from Nigeria to Equatorial Guinea, which would also be an opportunity for Equatorial Guinea’s energy sector to see an additional step towards its local content development plans.
The agreement, Mr Sylva said, once again signals that energy cooperation between neighbours on the continent to unlock tremendous value for African nations, in particular, in the Gulf of Guinea where there is great potential for collaborations.
The trip is part of the maiden tour of four oil producing countries in Africa since the Nigerian minister was appointed by the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of the Organization of OPEC as a Special Envoy to some participating countries in the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC).
As part of his appointment, Mr Syvla was tasked with the responsibility of communicating the principles of fairness, transparency and equity in Gabon, Congo Brazzaville and South Sudan, which are also key stops on the road trip.
Mr Sylva is also to carry the mission to ensure countries continued to comply with the resolution for members to cut their oil production as a way of strengthening crude oil prices in the international market as members of OPEC.
In line with the trip, the special envoy also met with Equatorial Guinea’s Head of state, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who reassured the country’s commitment to cooperating with OPEC, maintaining its production levels.
The Equatorial Guinea delegation that attended the meeting included Director of Hydrocarbons Robustiano Eyugue; Director of State Company, Oscar García; Director of Local Content, Jacinto Nguema Owono; Director of Sonagas, Juan Antonio, and Serapio, Deputy Director of Sonagas.
“The African Energy Chamber salutes the commitments made by the ministers,” said Leoncio Amada Nze, President of the Cemac region for the African Energy Chamber.
“We believe it is only through regional collaboration will paramount issues such as OPEC compliance, piracy and the monetization of gas for domestic and international export, will meaningful growth become a reality,” he added.