Updates from Gabon, an oil-producing country where putschers seized power on Wednesday indicated that oil production continues amid impending political uncertainties in the country.
The military in the wee hours of today Wednesday put President Ali Bongo under house arrest and announced taking over the powers shortly after the country’s election body announced that Bongo had won a third term presidential election.
Gabon, a Central African country is an oil-rich country that produces around 210,000 barrels per day of oil.
Energy Voice reported a TotalEnergies official saying that the company was “mobilised to ensure the safety of its employees and operations, which is its main priority”. The French company has reduced operations in Gabon over recent years and now produces only 17,000 bpd, as of 2022.
The company’s official Maurel et Prom has reported all its employees are safe and that the situation is calm in Port Gentil, where the company offices are. “The current situation does not affect our sites of activity where operations are taking place normally, without impact on production.”
The French embassy has advised people to stay at home, keep informed of the situation and respect the security instructions given by the embassy. “As a responsible operator, we have contingency plans in place and have prepared for this eventuality. As such we can confirm that all our personnel are safe, our operations continue as usual and our production is not affected. We are closely monitoring the situation and will adapt accordingly,” the official said.
Bongo had ruled since 2009, inheriting the position from his father. Omar Bongo took power in 1967. Some local reports have named Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi of involvement in the CTRI. There has been a suggestion that General Oligui Nguema, the head of the Republican Guard, is involved.
Bongo has faced a coup before. In 2019, when he was recovering from a stroke, the military launched an attempt to topple him. The president was said to have been working to secure the transition of the presidency to his son, which increased the chances for a power struggle.