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Chevron: Production started at shared African oil field

Regional border disputes could threaten some oil developments.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Chevron: Production started at shared African oil field
Chevron says start of oil production in field straddling the borders of the Congo and Angola could serve as a model in a region prone to territorial disputes. Image courtesy of Chevron.

SAN RAMON, Calif., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Chevron said the development of oil reserves straddling the maritime border of the Republics of Congo and Angola could serve as a model for Africa.

Chevron's subsidiary in the region announced it started oil and gas production from the Lianzi field in a unified offshore economic zone straddling the borders of Congo and Angola. The project is the first in the region to start operations for Chevron and the first cross-border development in Africa.

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"As the first offshore energy development spanning national boundaries in the Central Africa region, Lianzi represents a unique cooperative approach to share offshore resources and may serve as a model for the development of similar cross-border fields between two countries," Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron's regional exploration and production company, said in a statement.

A report from the International Crisis Group finds oil reserves in and around border regions in Central Africa could rekindle simmering resentments in the post-colonial era. The lack of clearly defined borders, notably in the Great Lakes region of Africa, poses significant risks to regional stability, the ICG found.

Disputes between the Ivorian and Ghanaian governments have threatened the development of the so-called TEN project, operated by Tullow Oil. At its peak, the offshore field is expected to produce about 80,000 barrels of oil per day.

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In 2013, Angola and the Congolese government created a common industrial zone when both sides agreed to share revenues from the Lianzi oil field. Located in the deep waters off the coast of western Africa, Lianzi is expected to produce an average 40,000 bpd.

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