LIBREVILLE, May 27 (Reuters) - State-owned Gabon Oil Company plans to purchase new oil assets and market a bigger portion of Gabon's crude oil, its chief executive told Reuters, aiming to grow to compete alongside international oil firms.
GOC was created in mid-2011 by presidential decree, more than two decades after Gabon started producing oil. The country is now sub-Saharan Africa's fifth-biggest oil producer, pumping around 250,000 barrels per day, down from a peak of 370,000 bpd in the late 1990s.
"Our strategy for growth is based on acquisitions and on going after marginal fields and going after permits that expire as well as exploration," CEO Serge Toulekima said on the sidelines of the New York Forum in Libreville, the capital of the Central African country.
He said the company was currently in talks to secure financing with a London-based bank to acquire an oil permit and hoped to finalise the deal this year.
For future exploration permits, GOC will negotiate to acquire the assets from the state and then seek partners to take a share in exchange for help in funding exploration.
Toulekima, formerly a reservoir engineer at Chevron, said that another goal was to increase GOC's share of Gabon's oil sold onto international markets. Last year, it sold 10 cargoes of about 650,000 barrels, or around 7 million barrels, and this could be boosted to around 14 cargoes, or 9 million barrels, next year, he said.
"We need to increase our volumes for marketing. We are in discussion with various companies to see if we can market their share of the oil in all the permits where they are present," he said.
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