Perenco – Unlocking Gabon’s Potential

We learn how Perenco is investing in opening up Gabon’s oil and gas sector.

Perenco is an international, independent, oil and gas company that is present in fourteen countries around the globe. The firm employs 6,000 people and has been in production since 1992. Today the company’s operations are producing approximately 465,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, one-third of which is gas, two-thirds of which is oil. Perenco plays an important role in Central Africa where it has become a leading operator of oil and gas in Cameroon, Gabon, and the DRC.

In Cameroon Perenco is operating the country’s only LNG plant, unique in the country, producing 1.2 million tons a year of LNG.

But when we speak with Adrien Broche, Perenco Gabon General Manager, it is Gabon he is most excited to discuss.

“In Gabon we are the largest oil and gas producer in the country, operating 50% of national production, reaching levels of 100,000 barrels of oil a day,” Broche tells us. “We are producing 40 million cubic metres a day of gas which we send to a 400-kilometre pipeline network which we installed over the past few years. It allows us to provide gas for several powerplants. These powerplants fed by Perenco gas provide 100% of the electricity in Port Gentil and 70% of the electricity in Libreville.”

Perenco is also providing gas to several other industries, including a beverage company, wood production companies, and other oil and gas producers that need gas for their operations. To do so significant investments have already been implemented.

“We have invested already more than US$500 million in these gas installations since 2006,” Broche says. “It is a big investment, but it marks the start of our strategy to be a strong partner of the State of Gabon and to participate in the development of the country through the gas valorisation of resources in order to generate power.”

The reason why this is such a hot sector for investment is the growing importance of the pivot to gas across the industry.

“It all comes back to the gas revolution. This gas network is fed mainly by associated gas, gas coming from the oil production which was previously flared,” Broche explains. “We are installing several additional gas compressors to withstand more in 2022. Already we are producing 80,000 tons less CO2 per year, and we will double that quantity by 2023. It is a win-win operation because we will secure the gas required to feed the power plants and decrease our flare gas and CO2 emissions over the next 20 years. At the same time, the project of the first Gabon LPG plant will be inserted into this network, where we will extract the propane and the butane to produce domestic gas locally for the country: Gabonese butane for Gabon.”

Leading the Way

As the key oil and gas producer in Gabon, Perenco enjoys a unique position, and it is one the company intends to leverage to great effect.

“We believe strongly in our strategy. We have a long-term vision covering the next 20 years,” Broche says. “We have the techniques and the competency to maximise recovery in our field. We are able to table new ideas that will help develop this asset and modernise it, maximising this field’s potential. We believe that there is limitless potential in what already exists. Year after year we find new ideas to optimise our oil and gas fields and stabilise and even increase our production in the country. That makes us special in Gabon.”

In Cameroon, Perenco is producing 40,000 tons of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) a day, a success that has inspired the company’s newest investment in Gabon.

Indeed, Perenco is the only company to locally develop and invest in the gas sector for Gabon and the local population. The next step for the company will be to establish local LPG production, bringing down the costly imports of LPG into the country.

This work is done in close collaboration with the people, communities, and businesses of Gabon.

“We are working with local companies. We have almost 3,000 people working across all of the fields, in our core business but also in all the services required to perform our operations (logistics, construction, catering, civil works, supply chain, …),” Broche tells us. “We are working with Gabonese companies and when required are helping them to develop their businesses. We have also started a significant training centre project that will be located on a barge that will go on our site to train our staff with an objective of 10,000 days of training per year.”

Perenco also works to support local communities, ensuring that when its work is done and Perenco has moved on, the communities it leaves behind are still able to flourish.

“We are launching an important project for local communities in a region located close to our installation,” Broche informs us. “This consists of a fish farm project that will generate 400 tons per year of fish. It’s early days for the project but the objective is that after the oil and gas production concludes there, we have something that will stay and support the community to be self-sufficient.”

New Ideas

Perenco is driven forward by its constant need to innovate and modernise.

“We are always finding new ideas, constantly redeveloping and modernising. We have the strong support of the Gabonese authorities which allows us to be where we are today,” Broche says. “It is very important to continue investing at this level right now and in the future.”

While moving forward is an essential element of the Perenco strategy, Broche is quick to point out that the company will not disregard the old unnecessarily.

“We consider that it’s better to renovate, modernise and redevelop than just dismantling, decommissioning, and rebuilding a new installation at the same location,” he explains. “It’s better for the environment and allows us to increase the efficiency of our equipment.”

After all these years in the industry, Perenco’s competency in terms of redevelopment is unmatched, supported by engineering expertise on-site and in our offices.

Indeed, Broche already has a clear vision for the future of the company in Gabon.

“Right now, we are finalising the acquisition of more fields in Gabon to redevelop them, for more drilling with better and more efficient installations. We will be focusing on that over the next five to ten years,” he says. “We will also operate and modernize the Onshore Terminal of Cap Lopez, which is the main oil storage facility in the country. We will play the role of the company that will aggregate the production and export it. We will continue to work with Gabonese authorities to consolidate the production of the country and provide more Gabonese gas for Gabon. We strongly believe in the gas production of Gabon.”

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