Chevron is hoping it could gain back its lead as an exploration company in Africa. The California based American major is looking closely at opportunities in East Africa, most favourably Uganda. It is also spreading its risk in those parts of the new frontier in which it already has a foothold. It recently won two acreages offshore Sierra Leone and entered a sale and purchase agreement with Eni, the Italian giant, to sell 25% interest in three offshore blocks off Liberia, including LB 11, LB12 and LB14 offshore blocks located on the shelf and continental slope of Liberia between 0 and 3,000m of water depth cover over 9,560km2 of area.
Chevron, like other majors, lost the opportunity in Ghana, even though it holds a large share of operated production in the countries that matter most in the region: Nigeria and Angola. Still, the company’s position among the majors in these two countries has slid in the past 15 years; to second place operator after TOTAL in Angola and third place operator after Shell and ExxonMobil in Nigeria. It has also walked out of some of the countries that are commanding attention, including Namibia and Equatorial Guinea, where the prospects of pre-salt deposits suggest considerable upside.