British oil and gas firm Bowleven announced on 7th June 2022 that its compatriot New Age, its 37.5% partner in the Etinde licence, which covers an area of 2,316 km2 in the South West region of Cameroon, is preparing to sell all its assets to a subsidiary of the French company Perenco.
A conditional final agreement has already been signed to this effect between the parties, it is learnt. “The prospect of Perenco becoming our partner in the Etinde licence is very positive news. We believe that Perenco’s proven oil and gas developments in Cameroon and its substantial experience offer the opportunity to accelerate our efforts to secure the final investment decision,” said Eli Chahin, managing director of Bowleven Plc.
As a reminder, at the end of a 6-year development period of the Etinde project, Bowleven (25%) and its partners New Age (37.5%) and Lukoil (37.5%) received on January 26, 2021, the approval of the Cameroonian party to apply for a new license to operate this oil and gas block.
Role of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict
Thanks to this agreement, the holders of the Etinde licence hoped, at the end of new exploration campaigns, to bring to light sufficient reserves to make an investment decision in 2021 and thus produce and market natural gas. However, this deadline was not met.
The 2022 deadline that the project operators have finally set themselves for a final investment decision is also now questionable, due to the involvement of the Russian company Lukoil in the project, which is suffering from the sanctions against Russia in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
However, the Etinde project is also of interest to Victoria Oil & Gas , the parent company of Gaz du Cameroun gas,, which has set up the country’s very first natural gas processing unit on the outskirts of Cameroon’s economic capital.
Indeed, on 5 February 2020, VOG signed a “non-binding letter of intent” with the project’s promoters to obtain natural gas supplies from the Etinde field, which could well become the third operational gas field in Cameroon, after Kribi (South) and Logbaba