Oil in Gabon

Oil Production11.6million tonnes per year

Oil Recoverable Reserves274million tonnes

Extensive oil resources have been located, both on land and offshore. In terms of proved recoverable reserves, According to the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), Gabon had 2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of the end of 2012, the fifth-largest in Sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria, Angola, Sudan and South Sudan (combined), and most recently, Uganda. Most of Gabon’s oil fields are located in the Port-Gentil area and are both onshore and offshore. The country’s oil production has decreased by around one-third from its peak of 370,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in 1997 to 244,000 bbl/d in 2012. Oil consumption has remained steadily low in Gabon, averaging around 14,000 bbl/d over the last decade. Therefore, more than 90 percent of output is exported, or around 250,000 bbl/d, on average over the last decade.

Historically, Gabon’s oil production has been concentrated in one large oil field and supported by several smaller fields. As the largest field matured and production declined, a larger field would emerge and replace dwindling production. Dominant fields have included Gamba/Ivinga/Totou (1967-1973), Grondin Mandaros Area (1974-1988), and Rabi (1989-2010). Gabon’s greatest success, the Rabi oil field, significantly boosted the country’s total output in the 1990s and reached 217,000 bbl/d at its peak in 1997. Although Rabi is still one of Gabon’s largest producing fields, it has matured and production has gradually declined to about 23,000 bbl/d in 2010. Since Rabi’s descent, a new large field has not yet emerged, since recent exploration has yielded only modest finds.

Gabon ranks third largest in sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria and Angola. Gabon was a member of OPEC from 1975 to 1995, when it withdrew on the grounds that it was unfair for it to be charged the same membership fee as the larger producers but not to have equivalent voting rights.

In recent years over 90% of Gabon’s oil output has been exported, mainly to the USA.


Oil data represents Crude Oil only, for extra-heavy oil and oil shale please refer to the WER 2013 report oil chapter.

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