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Total and Shell renew oil contracts in Gabon

LIBREVILLE, Oct 18 – The French oil firm Total and Anglo-Dutch partner Shell have renegotiated their contracts for oil exploration and sharing production at two sites in Gabon, the local media reported Monday.

The companies will pursue their activities for 20 years at Coucal and Avocette-Dianongo, two sites near Gamba in the southwest of the equatorial African country, under the contract signed Friday.

The value of the deals signed by Minister of Mines and Oil Julien Nkoghe Bekale, Total Gabon\’s director general Jean-Philippe Magnan and Shell Gabon\’s director general Adrian Drewett has not been announced.

"This signing shows the desire of Shell and Total to further the partnership that has linked them to Gabon for 50 years, and that of participating in the creation of weath in the petroleum sector," Drewett told the Gabon-Matin paper.

According to official figures and those of the World Bank, in 2009, Gabon\’s oil production amounted to 12.6 million tonnes, more than 60 percent of which was produced by Total and Shell.

Oil is the main wealth of the country of an estimated 1.47 million people, which produces between 220,000 and 240,000 barrels a day. Officially, oil income accounts for around 60 percent of its budget.

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