Gabon plans to revise its hydrocarbons law to attract new investment, the oil ministry said March 22.
Under the current legal framework, the Gabonese state holds a minimum 20% stake in oil projects. The state oil company has the right to a stake of up to 15%.
That law was implemented in 2014, the year that the market was shocked by a 50% drop in prices from over $100 per barrel to about $50 due to global oversupply.
“The same fiscal framework cannot be applied both when the barrel is at $150 and when it’s at $50 or $60, which limits the room to maneuver of investors interested in exploration,” the oil ministry said in a statement.
Like other oil-dominated economies of the Economic Community of Central African States’ single-currency zone, Gabon has struggled due to the decline in crude prices, forcing it to seek support from the International Monetary Fund last year.
A panel of legal, economic and tax experts will meet from March 26 to March 28 to look at changes to the law, the ministry said.
Companies operating in Gabon include Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Tullow Oil.