IRVING, Texas: Exxon Mobil Corp will wind down oil production in Equatorial Guinea in West Africa after its license expires in 2026, according to Reuters.
The move is part of the wider efforts by major oil producers to reduce crude production in West Africa, as well as shift investments to lower-carbon natural gas development and to more lucrative projects in the Americas.
"It is a high cost region where carbon emissions are a problem, as well," said Gail Anderson at energy consultants Wood Mackenzie, as quoted by Reuters.
Exxon has cut its output from Equatorial Guinea to less than 15,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) through its existing production unit Serpentina, and evacuated staff from the offshore production platform Zafiro this year.
Exxon's oil output in Equatorial Guinea, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), peaked at more than 300,000 bpd eight years ago, but this has been declining since.
Due to rampant levels of oil theft, oil producers Chevron Corp, Shell Plc and Exxon have also downgraded operations in Nigeria, selling most of their assets to local companies.
Nigeria's output is at a 32-year low and the country slipped behind Angola as Africa's largest exporter this year. TotalEnergies also left Angola earlier this year.
While crude oil production in West Africa is declining, liquefied natural gas (LNG) production in the continent is on the rise and fossil fuel output could grow elsewhere, as large producers are investing in gas and LNG for the European market amidst sanctions against Russian supplies.