Technology Editor, Drilling & Production
HOUSTON – An official visit by Equatorial Guinea to Washington has helped warm ties between the West African country and the US.
During an official visit Thursday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Pastor Micha Ondo Bile, met with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson to discuss the strategic partnership between the US and the central-African nation.
The officials discussed US dependence on energy supplies from Equatorial Guinea and general security of offshore oil and gas facilities.
Bile requested increased cooperation between the two countries to defend the large number of oil facilities operating in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We stand ready to increase our diplomatic, commercial and security ties to the US in the coming years to the benefit of both Equatorial Guineans and Americans," Bile said in a statement.
Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea region in recent years, three of which involved speedboats carrying armed mercenaries suspected to be Niger Delta rebels, are a threat to Equatorial Guinea, US energy security interests, and regional stability, according to Bile.
Over 15% of US energy currently comes from the Gulf of Guinea and is projected to exceed 25% by the year 2020.
Equatorial Guinea is the third largest producer of oil in Sub-Saharan Africa. Equatorial Guinea's total proven oil reserves are estimated at 1.1 Bbbl.
Visit strengthens ties between US and Equatorial Guinea
An official visit by Equatorial Guinea to Washington has helped warm ties between the West African country and the US.