Maurel & Prom will not become Gabon’s largest oil producer after all

Posted on January 2, 2024 at 11:51 am.Updated January 2, 2024 at 12:13 p.m

The year is off to a bad start for Maurel & Prom, down 7% on the stock market. 2024 will not be the year the Paris-controlled French group becomes Gabon’s biggest oil producer ahead of Total. The few hopes that remained from this summer’s coup d’état disappeared this weekend at the same time that the transition president, General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, announced during his greetings on December 31 that his country would buy the oil company Assala Energy. , which Maurel & Prom acquired in August from the American investment fund Carlyle for 730 million dollars (670 million euros). The operation, which was still subject to various legal approvals, was being finalized.

The stock exchange community, after the initial panic reaction, was still hopeful that political changes would not affect the company’s projects (we learned in September that an approval process was underway with the Ministries of Oil and Economy and the Economic Community and Currency of Central Africa). at the end of August, during the coup and cancellation of the re-election of Ali Bong as the head of Gabon.

But now, this Sunday, General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema brandished a preemptive right for “allow(E) for the Republic to demonstrate its sovereignty in the oil sector. »

Today, Maurel & Prom is experiencing its biggest intraday drop since late November as oil prices are up nearly 2%. The rise in Brent prices through September allowed the small oil producer’s shares to hit their best levels since 2018 last year, at nearly 7 euros a share.

More than 80% of the total production

The French company augmented by Assala was to produce 56,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Gabon (currently 15,800 for Maurel & Prom, plus 40,700 from Assala), or more than 80% of M&P’s total production.

The Assala property, which the Carlyle fund bought from Shell in 2017 after the British giant decided to exit the country, was strategically located near the property of the French producer. The purchased transportation and storage infrastructure included, in particular, the Gamba oil terminal and the pipelines connected to it, which should allow Maurel & Prom to manage the transportation and distribution of all its production in the country.

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