Cameroon intends to develop its oil potential by positioning the National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH) as a strategic partner in the hydrocarbon-refining-petrochemical sector, according to the 2020-2030 national development strategy.
In that regard, SNH (on behalf of the government) will sign partnership agreements with international partners to develop, explore and perform enhanced production recoveries on current production fields while ensuring that the potential of the new onshore oil rigs in the North is exhaustively explored. The corporation will also “update and develop the oil potential of the Bakassi peninsula.“
Thanks to the exploration of new on-shore basins in the northern part of the country and Bakassi (a territory formerly disputed by neighboring Nigeria, but ceded to Cameroon by the International Justice), Cameroon will maintain the flow of its oil revenues, step up exploration efforts (to increase reserves) and increase production.
This prospective position is set by Cameroon in a context where specialists believe that the country’s oil production has been on a declining trend for many years now. According to a paper published by the French embassy in November 2019 analyzing Cameroon’s economy, the country’s oil production fell from its peak of 185,000 barrels daily in 1985 to only 69,000 barrels a day in 2018. During that period, the oil sector’s contribution to GDP fell from 14.5% to just 4.7%.
In the note, Perenco (exploration and production company with a subsidiary in Cameroon) informed that the country’s natural decline in production is about 20% but is slowed down by specific processes it has been implementing. The said process, which requests significant investments ($750 million in 2018 and $800 million in 2019), allows the extraction of oil from mature fields.