Cameroon state oil chief sees 2013 crude production up 9 pct

YAOUNDE Sat Feb 9, 2013 6:19am EST

YAOUNDE Feb 9 (Reuters) - Cameroon's oil production is expected to rise 9 percent in 2013 as new wells came into production, the head of the central African nation's state oil company SNH said on Friday.

The country's modest oil production rose 3.5 percent in 2012 to 22.37 million barrels last year as new wells came on-stream after slumping the previous years due to mature wells.

"Oil production will continue to rise in 2013... we expect a production increase of about 9 percent," Adolphe Moudiki, chief executive of the state-run oil National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH), told Reuters.

"Operators Addax and Glencore have announced discoveries they made respectively in two different offshore blocks: Iroko (Padouk-1 well) and Bolongo (Oak-IX well)," Moudiki said.

He said measures have been taken to drill all wells in 2013 after a lack of drilling rigs delayed work at several wells in last year.

Cameroon's oil production peaked at 185,000 barrels per day in 1986 but had since declined steadily to stand at 63,900 barrels per day in 2011. Moudiki said the country plans to boost production to about 90,000 barrels per day in 2013.

Though a cocoa, coffee and bauxite producer, crude oil is the country's main export product, accounting for 39 percent of exports and about 45 percent of foreign exchange earnings.

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