Yaoundé - 13 April 2024 -

Cameroon's LNG earnings soar by 148.8% in 2022 (INS)

Cameroon's LNG earnings soar by 148.8% in 2022 (INS)
  • Comments   -   Friday, 23 February 2024 03:08

(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon experienced a "spectacular" surge in revenues from liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in 2022, data from the national stats agency INS showed. According to the newly released external trade report, LNG exports witnessed a sharp growth of 148.8%, generating CFA631.5 billion in revenues over the period, up from CFA253.8 billion the previous year. This increase accounted for 18.1% of the total export revenues, showcasing the significant impact of LNG on the country's economy.

The INS report did not explain the reasons behind this strong performance but it came following a surge in the production at the Hilli Episeyo unit, a ship converted into a floating liquefaction unit for natural gas. Initially, the Hilli Episeyo had a production capacity of 1.2 million tons of gas annually. Official figures for 2022 indicated an increase to 1.4 million tons, with projections of reaching 1.6 million tons in 2023.

GNL Golar, along with partners French Perenco and the Cameroonian National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH), project that this production increase will continue until 2026. They aim to hit 5 million tons by then, according to forecasts by the French Company for External Trade Insurance (Coface). To support these ambitious production goals, SNH announced in 2022 that approximately three additional wells were to be drilled that year to accommodate the projected increases.

Moreover, the surge in Cameroon's LNG export revenues in 2022 was also buoyed by the global natural gas prices. Data from the Bank of Central African States (Beac) shows that the global price of natural gas peaked at $40/ MMBtu in the third quarter of 2022, before declining to $28.6/ MMBtu in the fourth quarter, and then to $17.9/ MMBtu in the first quarter of 2023. The strong performance of natural gas prices on the global market in 2022 can be attributed not only to the post-Covid recovery period but also significantly to the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, which led to a reduction in Russian gas exports to the European Union.

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