Lukoil Negotiates Refinery Reconstruction in Cameroon

A delegation of Russian oil major Lukoil’s executives met with the Cameroonian Minister of Water and Energy Gaston Eloundou Essomba this week, with both sides continuing the discussions over the reconstruction of the national refining company Sonara, Business in Cameroon reported

The talks on the project started in October 2019 during the Russia-Africa Summit.

At the end of the Sochi event, Cameroonian authorities announced that they had spoken with major Russian oil and gas groups for the reconstruction of the refinery. The arrival of Lukoil’s executives in Cameroon shows the importance that this company attaches to the reconstruction of Cameroon’s only oil refinery, ravaged by fire on May 31, 2019.

This interest can be explained by the fact that Lukoil already has assets in the country’s oil and gas sector. Unlike Rosneft (unknown in Cameroon), or Gazprom, which is only an off-taker (exclusive acquirer) of the gas produced by the floating LNG unit in Kribi, Lukoil holds 37.5% of the assets on the Etinde exploration license. This license covers an area of 2,316 km2 in the South-Western region of Cameroon. 

A devastating fire at Sonara last summer, which consumed more than 10,000 m3 (10 million liters) of crude oil, totally damaged 4 of Sonara’s 13 production units, forcing Cameroon to import all finished petroleum products used in the country since the fire. Reconstruction work is expected to be completed by 2021, according to the government’s projections.

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