Gabon’s Assala Energy says oil production unaffected by coup

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – Assala Energy, which is wholly owned by Carlyle Group, said its oil production in Gabon has been unaffected by the military coup in the country.

“We can confirm that all our personnel are safe, our operations continue as usual and our production is not affected,” a company spokesperson said.

The private equity fund’s non-U.S. energy arm first invested in Assala in 2017 when it acquired Shell’s ageing operations in Gabon for $628 million.

However, earlier this month, Carlyle agreed to sell Assala to French producer Maurel & Prom, which owns and operates oil and gas assets in Africa, Europe and Latin America, including three licences in Gabon, for $730 million.

Gabon produces about 200,000 barrels a day (bpd) of crude oil, making it the second-smallest OPEC producer.

Assala has increased its production in the African country by 30% since the 2017 acquisition to 45,000 bpd, and has also increased the size of its oil and gas reserves by 160% through exploration, Carlyle said earlier in August.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso in London; Additional reporting by Natalie Grover in London; Editing by David Goodman and Alex Richardson)