23 January 2015, News Wires – The Republic of Congo’s state-run oil company has opened an oil marketing office in Singapore as it targets South-East Asian buyers for crude output due to come onstream next year.
Like other African oil producers such as Nigeria and Angola, the Republic of Congo has in recent years seen crude export flows shift to Asia from the United States after US import requirements were curbed by the shale boom in that country.
“The US market is no longer a real option for us and European demand is still affected by the economic crisis, so Asia is really our main market now,” Cedric Okiorina, head of trading and operations at Societe Nationale des Petroles du Congo (SNPC) said.
Crude output in the Republic of Congo has fallen in recent years, dropping to an average 270,000 barrels per day last year. But with new offshore fields due to come onstream next year, the country aims to boost output to 350,000 bpd by 2017, Reuters quoted Okiorina as saying.
In comparison, output in Opec member Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, stands at about 2.2 million bpd.
Roughly 90% of Congo’s crude exports are already shipped to Asia, with China the top buyer of its main export grades, Djeno, N’Kossa and Yombo.
Through its Singapore office, SNPC will also target direct sales to end-users in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, Okiorina told Reuters.
“Our grades are already well-known in Asia, but many people don’t know SNPC and instead buy through third parties,” he was quoted as saying.
Oil majors Total and ENI are the main operators in Congo, with SNPC an equity holder in the country’s main production assets.
SNPC currently sells 3million to 4 million barrels of crude per month from its equity production.