Oil & gas extraction on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea

The Bioko Island is progressively being turned into a petrochemical complex, threatening the local population Bubi people livelihoods.


Equatorial Guinea is the third-largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria and Angola. The income from this black gold has not improved the living conditions of local communities - on the contrary, the proceeds have been instrumental in strengthening the on-going dictatorship of President Obiang Nguema and his family. The discovery of oil and gas reserves on Bioko Island worsened the conflict between the native Bubi ethnic group and the central Government. The Movement for the Self-Determination of Bioko Island remains active.

Basic Data
NameOil & gas extraction on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
CountryEquatorial Guinea
ProvinceBioko Island
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific Commodities
Crude oil
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsEquatorial Guinea exports about 500 barrels per day.

The government made clear its willingness to turn Riaba on the BIoko Island into a petrochemical complex. By the beginning of 2015, the Equatorial Guinean government has signed an agreement with Taleveras Group, to build an oil storage hub at Punta Europa on Bioko Island[1].
Project Area (in hectares)100000
Level of Investment (in USD)700000000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population170000
Start Date1996
Company Names or State EnterprisesExxonMobil Corporation (Exxon) from United States of America
Amerada Hess
Marathon Oil Corp from United States of America
The Atlantic Methanol Production Company (AMPCO) from Equatorial Guinea
Taleveras Group from Nigeria
NOBLE ENERGY from United States of America
Atlas petroleum from Nigeria
Glencore (GLEN) from Switzerland
P.A. Resources from Sweden
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Equatorial Guinea
International and Financial InstitutionsRiggs Bank from United States of America
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMovement for the Self-Determination of Bioko Island (MAIB) - Equatorial Guinea, Global Witness - England
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationLand occupation
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Deaths
Potential: Malnutrition, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesAn end to oil extraction activity on Bioko Island and the restoration of the area.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Oil & gas extraction is still the main economic activity on the Bioko Island, and the Government supports it, threatening the native population.
Sources and Materials

L'Africa del tesoro. Masto Raffaele. Ed. Sperling and Kupfer. 2006
[click to view]

Lifting the Oil Curse: Improving Petroleum Revenue Management in Sub-saharan Africa. Katz , Menachem. Ed. IMF. 2004.
[click to view]

Ayuda, mercado y buen gobierno - Los lenguajes del desarollo en Africa en el cambio de milenio. Campos Serrano, Alicia. Ed. ICARIA. 2005.
[click to view]

The myths of the west african gas pipeline. Friends of the earth. Ed. Friends of the earth. 2006.
[click to view]

Manifesto dirigido al Presidente de la Republica de Guinea, October 1993
[click to view]


Movement for the Self-Determination of Bioko Island
[click to view]

Equatorial Guinea, Taleveras to build Africa's largest oil storage hub, 08/01/2015
[click to view]

By Chemicals Technology
[click to view]

Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy
[click to view]

Bubi people
[click to view]

El MAIB se manifiesta en la capital de España, El Revolucionario, 12/02/2009
[click to view]

10° Aniversario del Manifesto de la Nacion Bubi, 2003
[click to view]

Other Documents

AMPCO methanol plants in Bioko Island Guineequatoriale-info.net
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLucie Greyl
Last update04/01/2016