Congo Republic State Oil Firm Seeks To Revive Oilfields


BRAZZAVILLE, April 11 (Reuters) - Republic of Congo's state oil company SNPC said it hopes to develop a strategy to pump more oil from fields under-exploited by foreign investors as part of a plan to revive oil production.

Societe Nationale des Petroles du Congo (SNPC) said in a statement in Congolese newspaper La Semaine Africaine on Friday that it had completed two geological surveys since December in the Mengo-Kundji-Bindi (MKB) permit to assess their potential.

"SNPC is using hydraulic fracturing on the Kundji field allowing improved production of compact reserves...which constitute the oil reserves on the MKB permit. It will use the same technique on the Mengo field," the announcement stated.

The Kundji field is currently being exploited by SNPC in collaboration with Ivorian state oil company Petroci and Canada's Orion Oil and Gas, SNPC said. It was previously abandoned by now dissolved French oil company Elf.

The Mengo field was similarly abandoned by Elf in the 1990s.

SNPC also carried out a survey of the Mayombe licence, not currently being exploited, to assess its potential for drilling.

Oil production in Republic of Congo has been in decline for years due to maturing fields and is down from around 310,000 bpd in 2010, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The country projects output of 242,000 barrels per day this year, up slightly from 242,000 bpd in 2013. Oil revenues make up more than 70 percent of the state's budget.

New discoveries have piqued investor interest and Congo plans a licensing round this year for around 10 onshore and offshore oil blocks. The region is thought to contain oil concealed below a layer of salt on the ocean bed and some expect reserves comparable to the billions of barrels found in fields off Brazil.

(Reporting by Christian Elion; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Joe Bavier and Anthony Barker)

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