Gabriel Dansou-Lokossou, 2000. "Benin’s Experience with Petroleum Development: A Small Country’s Perspective", International Oil and Gas Ventures: A Business Perspective, George E. Kronman, Don B. Felio, Thomas E. O’Connor, Mindy S. Kronman
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Benin is a small, coastal West African country located between the petroliferous countries of Nigeria and the Cote d’Ivoire. Its sedimentary geology is a result of the separation of South America from Africa during the Mesozoic and, as such, is similar to that of its neighbors in this portion of West Africa. Early exploration efforts by UNOCAL discovered the marginal Sèmè oil field which, following negotiations, was returned to the government.
Subsequent efforts by the government to put its only petroleum discovery into production have resulted in a series of contractual, managerial, and financial issues, the resolution of which has resulted in a very strong, positive learning experience for the government in the management of its petroleum sector. These have involved the creation and subsequent privatization of a national oil company several exploration promotion projects, accessing the international financial markets, and the use of international contractors and advisors.
During this time, the Sèmè field has been produced to exhaustion, and the remaining related issues of decommissioning and exploration of the deeper potential reserves currently are under resolution. Exploration continues and the government has become adept at dealing effectively and proactively with the smaller international oil companies, while at the same time protecting its own financial and contractual interests.
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A “one-stop” business view on how to succeed in international exploration and production. Success in the international upstream arena requires more than the technical ability to find oil and gas. Relationships with governments and people, mutually beneficial contracts, workable strategies, and implementation plans are necessary to build strong, mutually beneficial, and profitable ventures. Key components that drive exploration and production in the global environment are examined. Specific topics include negotiating for success, contracts, the role of technology in international strategies, cross-cultural relationships, alliances, and international upstream financing. Authors from around the world, representing industry, governments, national oil companies, consultants, and academia, contributed their perspectives. Views are provided from both sides of the negotiating table, the corporate boardroom, the resident manager, the explorationist, the businessman, and the theoretician. Geoscientists, engineers, and negotiators, who are, or would like to be, involved in the global energy business will find this collection an important reference.