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Use it or lose it, Equatorial Guinea tells drillers

The West African state wants to see more activity from oil firms now the oil price has recovered, and is launching a new bid round

Equatorial Guinea has issued a stark warning to its oil and gas operators to either kick-start drilling in 2019 or "move aside", as the country ramps up efforts to stem declining oil production from maturing fields. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, the country's Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, said operators, which include ExxonMobil, Noble Energy, Kosmos Energy and Marathon Oil, had no excuse for delaying drilling programmes in the new era of higher oil prices. "2019 is an investment year," he said at September's Africa Oil and Power conference in Cape Town. "We will be very clear with the companies: if you invest, you can keep working in Equatorial Guinea. But if you are not going to inves

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