Shell Strengthens Ties with Equatorial Guinea

July 7th , 2016 → 9:43 am @

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Equatorial Guinea and Royal Dutch Shell have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reinforce cooperation in future oil and gas projects in the West African country.

The agreement, signed between the supermajor and Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, will see Shell gain a stronger presence in the country’s oil and gas sector.

“Equatorial Guinea is an African leader in upstream oil and gas development and the strategic monetisation of gas reserves”, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, said in a press release.

Shell Strengthens Ties With Equatorial Guinea

The oil and gas firm is currently active in Equatorial Guinea after having acquired BG group and through purchasing agreement with EGLNG for its liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“The government has pledged to continue on this progressive path, and with the knowledge and experience of Shell Group, I am confident that this agreement will usher in new opportunities for investment”, the minister added.

He explained that Equatorial Guinea is looking forward to establishing a “long and productive relationship with Shell”.

The MoU became effective on July 4 and will enable a greater cooperation between the two firms.

Shell Has 17-Year LNG MoU In Equatorial Guinea

Shell completed the acquisition of the BG Group in February this year, marking the company’s entry into the country, although this is pending the approval from the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons.

The BG Group holds a purchase agreement for all the liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced by EGLNG’s LNG facility since 2007.

The LNG purchasing agreement has a duration of 17 years.

As well as Shell’s increased focus in its existing activities, the deal marks its future entry into new hydrocarbon projects.

Equatorial Guinea rapidly became a major African producer with the Alba field coming online in 1991, rapidly followed by the Zafiro field in 1995. By 2005, the country’s oil production was reaching its peak, at 358,000 barrels per day.

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July 7th , 2016 → 9:34 am @

June 2nd, 2016 – Over the United States commemoration of Memorial Day on Monday, A+E Studios presented Roots, a historical portrait of American slavery for an eight-hour miniseries production. Based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, Roots recounts the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship. Millions have already tuned into the dramatic show and #rootsseries is driving the conversation on twitter.

Dramatic movies like this, give tour operators an opportunity to promote cultural tourism destinations, say Victor Mooney, Spirit of Malabo Group.

Equatorial Guinea, one of Africa’s premier destinations has undertaken an unprecedented course to develop its tourism sector. The the tiny oil-rich country is formally inaugurating the Malabo National Park on Saturday. This addition will only bolster the many new attractions in the country. Other attractions like the slave holding cells are still in original state.

The Department of Culture and Tourism, through its leader, Guillermina Mekuy Mba,is leading the effort to promote local attractions. This continuous development is part of the countries Horizonte 2020 Plan, aimed to diversify the economy.

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Kadaga and Winnie Kiiza canvass support for Kazibwe’s AU bid in Cameroon

July 7th , 2016 → 9:18 am @

Kadaga and Winnie Kiiza Canvass Support (Click link to Watch Video)

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and the Leader of Opposition Winnie Kizza are engaged in shuttle-diplomacy to drum support for Dr Wandira Kazibwe’s bid to chair the African Union Commission.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has delivered a message from President Museveni to the President of Cameroon Paul Biya seeking his support for Uganda’s candidate for the coveted African Union Commission seat.

The message was received by Cameroonian Prime Minister Philemon Yang who represented the president in Yaounde, the Capital of the West African state.

Former Vice President Dr Wandira Kazibwe will face Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi of Botswana and Agapito Mba Mokuy of Equatorial  Guinea.

– See more at:

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Equatorial Guinea signs Memorandum of Understanding with Shell to increase oil and gas collaboration

July 7th , 2016 → 9:05 am @

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The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) of Equatorial Guinea signed an historic memorandum of understanding with Shell Group on July 4, 2016. The MoU will enable greater collaboration between the two parties on numerous oil and gas-related projects. This new agreement testifies to the Equatoguinean Government’s continued drive to extract the maximum value from its natural resources. Shell’s acquisition of BG Group, completed in February 2016, heralded the entry of the oil company into Equatorial Guinea, pending approval from the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. BG has a 17-year purchase agreement for all liquefied natural gas produced by the EGLNG facility since 2007. In addition to Shell’s heightened focus on existing activities in Equatorial Guinea’s oil and gas sector, the MoU facilitates the future entry of the firm into new hydrocarbons projects.

‘Equatorial Guinea is an African leader in upstream oil and gas development and the strategic monetization of gas reserves’ stated Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima. ‘The government has pledged to continue on this progressive path, and with the knowledge and experience of Shell Group, I am confident that this agreement will usher in new opportunities for investment.’

The Minister added, ‘We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Shell and anticipate further cooperation on a range of oil and gas initiatives.’

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Furuta-Toy honored to serve as ambassador

December 24th , 2015 → 8:13 am @

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December 24th, 2015

Julie Furuta-Toy

Julie Furuta-Toy

Julie Furuta-Toy currently is enjoying the holidays at her home in Wapiti, but when the new year begins she will travel to Equatorial Guinea to serve as U.S. ambassador.

Furuta-Toy, 55, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as the Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea on Oct. 22. She was sworn in Nov. 23.

“It’s an honor to be nominated to be an ambassador and to go out and represent the U.S. in any country,” she said.

Furuta-Toy followed her husband Steve Toy into the U.S. Foreign Service. He joined in 1984 and she followed two years later. They served together until 2009 but remained stationed near each other until his retirement in 2011.

Toy had always wanted to live near the Rocky Mountains and began searching for the perfect home shortly after retirement. The couple found it near Wapiti in 2012 along the Shoshone River and about 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park.

“We’ve always gone to different national parks but kept coming back to Yellowstone,” she said. “The nature in Wyoming can’t be beat. One of the things we do best in this country is our national parks.”

Furuta-Toy spent much of last summer in Wapiti and tries to get back a few times each year.

“I enjoy hiking around our place,” she said.

Toy lives in Wapiti full time but the couple usually meet somewhere every three to four months. They have two adult children.

Furuta-Toy earned a B.A. from the University of California-Riverside in 1981 and an M.A. from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1984. Later she received an M.S. from the National Defense University in 2004.

During a 29-year career in the Foreign Service she has worked in Oslo, Norway; Ghana, Africa; Moscow, Russia; Mumbai, India; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Manila, Philippines. She speaks Spanish and Russian.

“It’s a great career and has given me the opportunity to move around the world and see how people relate to each other,” she said.

Each posting lasts about 3-4 years.

“Every time I move it’s a culture shock,” she said. “The actual moving part is the part I hate. There’s always a box that I wonder why I packed and shipped.

“Every country handles things differently. About six months in I take a step back and look at what is striking now that I didn’t see before.”

She’s also served in the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs as director in both the Office of Children’s Issues and the Office of Public and Diplomatic Liaison. In Washington, she has served in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and in the Bureau of Personnel.

“Becoming an ambassador is not something I thought I’d be doing when I went in [to the Foreign Service],” she said.

Ambassadors are nominated by the President and must be confirmed by the Senate.

“It was nerve-racking going up in front of the Senate because it’s not something you do every day, but it was a fun experience,” she said.

Furuta-Toy said she was pleased to meet both of Wyoming’s senators. She met Sen. John Barrasso on Oct. 1 at her confirmation hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee on African Affairs. Barrasso serves on the committee. She visited with Mike Enzi before the hearing.

“I was able to talk about my skills as a Foreign Service officer and my relationship with Wyoming,” she said.

Since she was confirmed she has been busy preparing for her new position by speaking with agencies that do business in Equatorial Guinea and finding out what their concerns are.

As ambassador she will focus on the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Equatorial Guinea, ensuring American citizens and businesses are afforded rights.

“I’ll be making sure to maintain our relations to advance the goals we have,” she said. “I’ll also make sure we understand what the country has as its goals.”

She ensures American officers serving in the embassy are secure and able to conduct U.S. business as well.

When she arrives Furuta-Toy will present her credentials, which include a letter from President Obama, to the government. Once her credentials are accepted she can begin work. The posting lasts three years.


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Equatorial Guinea, in the fourth edition of Africagua

December 15th , 2015 → 7:15 am @

Posted by – December 15th, 2015


The Presidential Adviser on Energy, Miguel Epkua, participated in the inauguration of the Africagua fair, which is held these days in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (Spain). Epkua presented the advantages of investing in energy projects in Equatorial Guinea.


The fourth edition of Africagua was inaugurated on November 19 by the President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, in the city of Puerto del Rosario (Fuerteventura).

On this inauguration day, to represent Equatorial Guinea, Miguel Epkua, Presidential Adviser on Energy he was presented to the public, who explained some aspects of the Horizon 2020 plan, and referred to some of the most important energy projects. Epkua also showed the Government’s plans in other alternative energies to oil: “We believe that fossil fuels do not have long-term prospects and we need to see other sources of production such as the renewable energies.”

He also informed about the energy plans that are prepared in the areas of Annobon, Corisco and Bioko, with hydropower, solar and small wind farms. He also recalled that the Global Fund for the Environment has accepted the initiative of the Executive of Equatorial Guinea for the use of renewable energy in remote areas of the country, and invited international investors to encourage them to participate in these exciting opportunities for all.

Equatorial Guinea, for another year, participates in this fair on water and renewable energy, held in the Canary Islands (Spain), and that has the African continent as a protagonist. Also delegations from countries such as Ghana, Cape Verde, Morocco, Senegal and the United States have placed their trust in Africagua as a platform for business and international collaboration.

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December 3rd , 2015 → 9:14 am @

Posted by – December 3rd, 2015


Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of mines, industry and energy

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of mines, industry and energy

Equatorial Guinea is one of the top crude exporters in Sub-Saharan Africa with daily production just below 300,000 barrels a day. At the just concluded 2015 West Africa Energy Assembly in Lagos, CNBC Africa’s Wole Famurewa caught up with Gabriel Obiang Lima, the country’s Mines Industry and Energy Minister and talk about how the country is reinventing itself in the current environment.

See video:


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Equatorial Guinea Expands Scope of Major Crude Oil and Petroleum Tank Farm Project

November 3rd , 2015 → 6:12 am @

Posted by – November 3rd, 2015

Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy announces the signing of an MoU that significantly expands the scope of the planned Bioko Oil Terminal project

The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy, representing the Government of Equatorial Guinea, announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three companies to build a crude oil and petroleum products storage tank farm on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea.

In an expansion of the previous project plan, the Bioko Oil Terminal will incorporate a significant amount of crude oil storage space, as well as storage for associated petroleum products. It will serve the Gulf of Guinea region and facilitate processing and export to consumers regionally and globally. The MoU establishes the terms of cooperation among the Ministry and the three companies.

The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy of Equatorial Guinea, Taleveras Group, Gunvor Group and the Strategic Fuel Fund will jointly participate in the Bioko Oil Terminal development. The tank farm will be operated by the Strategic Fuel Fund, which operates Saldanha Bay in South Africa, one of the world’s largest petroleum storage facilities.

Upon announcing the new MoU, Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima stated: “The Bioko Oil Terminal will serve the enormous demand for storage in the currently underserved Gulf of Guinea region.This is a definitive step forward for our nation’s petroleum industry and economic diversification agenda. We are proud to announce that the national bank of Equatorial Guinea, BANGE, will be involved in the financing of the project.”

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Oil price plunge: Equatorial Guinea wants to diversify economy

November 2nd , 2015 → 6:31 am @

Posted by – November 2, 2015

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of mines, industry and energy

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Equatorial Guinea’s minister of mines, industry and energy

Equatorial Guinea is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest oil producers. However, with the price of crude down roughly 50% over the past year, the country is looking to diversify its economy. How we made it in Africa spoke to Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima – minister of mines, industry and energy – on the sidelines of the Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town. Below are edited excerpts.

How is the government of Equatorial Guinea responding to the low oil price?

We still produce the same volume of oil, but the problem is the price has gone down. We’ve had to reduce our government budget twice – we did it in January and then we have done it again in the summer – because the price of oil has kept going down.

The drop in the oil price is both a good and a bad thing. It is a bad thing because it means less revenue for the country. But it is a good thing because it is a wake-up call for countries like Equatorial Guinea to understand that we need to diversify our economy. We need to think of other resources that can allow us to move forward. We have invested heavily in infrastructure such as ports, electricity, water and housing. The country needs to focus on sectors such as hospitality, agriculture, services and telecoms.

We have built a new capital, it is called Djibloho, and the aim is to move both the politicians and the government there, and allow the other two main cities – Malabo and Bata – to grow as an economic hubs.

Where do you see the future of Equatorial Guinea in the energy space?

The example that I use all the time, and that I will keep using, is: like Singapore. We are in the middle of a neighbourhood that has big oil-producing countries with large populations. While oil and gas production brings in a lot of revenue, the future of Equatorial Guinea lies in services. We’ve built a new port and are planning an airport hub.

We are already servicing the oil industry from Luba, and are having discussions with our friends in Singapore, like Keppel Corporation, for the possibility in the future to have dry docks to repair FPSOs (floating production, storage and offloading vessels), especially because the water depth is very good. From here we can service the oil industries of NigeriaGabonAngola and others.

Equatorial Guinea has also introduced buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). Tell us more about this initiative.

By using gas one can save a lot of money, as opposed to diesel and gasoline; it is also much more environmentally friendly. We are currently doing it as a pilot project, but if the pilot project is successful we need to roll it out across Equatorial Guinea. In addition to the buses, we can also consider using this technology for taxis, very similar to what India did. Equatorial Guinea could become a major producer of CNG for transportation and play an active role in introducing the technology in other African countries. Car manufacturers such as Tata and Ford are now all looking at CNG.

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U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea: Who Is Julie Furuta-Toy?

October 26th , 2015 → 6:31 am @

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Julie Furuta-Toy

Julie Furuta-Toy


President Barack Obama on June 18, 2015, announced his intention to nominate Julie Furuta-Toy, a career member of the Foreign Service, to be the next ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. If she’s confirmed, it will be the first such post for her.

Furuta-Toy is from Wyoming. As was true with many Japanese-Americans, Furuta-Toy’s father’s family was sent to an internment camp during World War II and he later served in the U.S. Army in Japan at the end of the war. Furuta-Toy attended UC Riverside, earning a BA in comparative literature in 1981 and earned an MA in the same subject from Indiana University in 1984. Ten years later, she earned a master’s degree from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Furuta-Toy joined the Foreign Service in 1986.

Furuta-Toy’s early assignments included Haiti, India, Mexico, and the Philippines. In 1996, she was named program officer in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. She moved over to the Bureau of Personnel in 1998 as a career development officer.

In 2001, Furura-Toy was sent to Moscow as a consul and immigrant visa unit chief. When she returned to Washington in 2004, she continued in that specialty as director of the Office of Public and Diplomatic Liaison and the Visa Office. Much of her job there involved explaining to those wanting to visit the U.S. on non-immigrant visas, such as those coming for educational and cultural events, why they were denied entry to the United States.

Furuta-Toy was made director of the Office of Children’s Issues in 2007. Here she dealt often with cases of child abduction, particularly those by a non-custodial spouse from another country.

Furuta-Toy was sent to Africa in 2009 as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Accra, Ghana. In 2012, she assumed a similar role in Oslo, Norway. Furuta-Toy ended up heading the mission there for almost two years because of the Obama administration’s inept handling of the nomination of George Tsunis, a bundler for Obama’s election campaigns, to be the ambassador to Norway. Tsunis eventually withdrew from consideration after a botched performance at his confirmation hearing.

Furuta-Toy is married to Steven Toy, another State Department employee. They have two children. Her languages are Spanish and Russian.



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