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Transforming gas reserves into capital

Article - September 25, 2012
Punta Europa Gas Complex holds great potential to expand into a regional gas hub
Aware of its enormous potential, particularly in the gas sector, Equatorial Guinea is rapidly expanding its business interests in the Atlantic Basin by skillfully turning its gas reserves, once viewed as valueless stranded gas, into a new and prolific source of income for the nation.

The world-class Punta Europa Gas Complex is an exemplary development that not only illustrates the economic benefits of exploiting the country’s domestic gas for commercial use but also demonstrates its potential to become a regional gas hub.

The Alba field, the third largest field in the country and located at the heart of the integrated complex, is the main gas production source for methanol and liquefied natural gas (LNG). With an average daily output of 222,000 barrels of oil equivalent, it is the main source of feedstock for the complex. 

Though Alba historically flared associated natural gas, it has now become a major condensate field capable of producing over an estimated 400 million barrels of oil equivalent. Today it is operated by Marathon E.G. Production Limited (MEPGL), subsidiary of the globally renowned Marathon Oil Corporation. MEPGL also provides management for the government-owned Turbo Gas Power Generation plant on the island.

To fully monetize its offshore resources, and further reduce environmental impacts, some of the gas residues produced at the Alba field are transferred to the Atlantic Methanol Production Company (AMPCO), an important global methanol processor and which accounts for 2% of the world supply of this product.

Other volumes of residue are delivered to the Equatorial Guinea LNG Train 1 S.A. (EG LNG) production facility – the fastest ever built and with an exceptional safety performance – to allow for more effective delivery and commercialization of the Alba field’s natural gas. With a current annual capacity of 3.7 million tons of LNG, plans are underway to begin the construction of a second train by 2016.