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Indicators Predict Cameroon Oil Production Increase 

By Divine Ntaryike Jr

— In recent weeks, trickling indicators by government and global economic watchdogs are predicting an oil production soar for Cameroon beginning this year.  The claims, hinged on varied indicators, have mitigated previous forecasts hinting a looming slide in the country’s crude oil output over the coming years.

The latest illustration of optimism derives from a report issued by the National Hydrocarbons Corporation, SNH.  The state-run firm indicates that in the fourth and last quarter of 2011, Cameroon’s crude oil output witnessed a hop to 5, 64 million barrels.  That is up from 5, 39 million in the previous quarter.

Total E&P emerged the leading quarterly producer with 2, 463 million barrels followed by Pecten with 985,000 barrels. 

SNH nonetheless adds that the output jump, coinciding with excellent world market prices enabled it to fetch up to USD 414 million for the state treasury during the said period spanning three months from September to December 2011.  The information nonetheless adds that for all of 2011, Cameroon witnessed an overall production slump from 23, 31 million barrels the previous year to 21, 6 million barrels.

Last month meantime, Bernard Bahiya, SNH director of production told reporters in the capital Yaoundethat Cameroon could witness a daily production rise of 59 percent by the end of the current year.  He hinged his optimism on the planned launch of operations at two new oil wells. 

“We’re developing new oil fields and notably, the Dissoni that will enable us to increase daily output from the present 63, 000 barrels to 100,000,” he said.  Cameroon’s production reached its peak in 1985 with a daily output of 185,000 barrels.

The Dissoni oil field located off Cameroon’s coast in the Rio del Rey concession area was discovered in 2005 and SNH says production is expected to debut there next August.  The field is close to the border with Africa’s biggest oil producer Nigeria and its initial output is projected at 15,000 barrels per day with estimated reserves of 25 million barrels. 

Elsewhere, the Moudi and Ebome offshore concessions in the Douala/Kribi-Campo basin are also planned to come alive with initial ceiling yields of 12,000 barrels per day [and reserves estimates of 20 million barrels].  Both wells were slated to go operational last year, but takeoff was slowed down by unnamed technical hitches.


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