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What The Gabon Coup Means For Oil Markets

The coup in Niger has now spread to Gabon, with military leaders on Wednesday overthrowing the long-time president (the Bongo family, which has ruled since the 60s) and placing him under house arrest. Gabon is a mineral-rich country and a member of OPEC (though the smallest), producing around 200,000 bpd. The country’s oil production is not likely to be negatively impacted unless external forces attempt to intervene or unless the coup loses strength and the situation descends into civil war. For the time being, the oil is safe.

The opposition to the Bongo family and its elite circle has been mounting since before 2016 when Ali Bongo Ondimba only narrowly won elections. It fomented further over the following years, with a failed coup attempt in 2019. Patience has run out for a family that has run Gabon like a clan kingdom, with too many left out of the oil and mineral riches.

Gabon’s oil export revenue was $6 billion in 2022, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

However, despite cries of endemic corruption and a circle of wealth around the elite Bongo family, the military officers who launched the coup have now announced that the country’s transitional junta leader is General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, who happens to be a cousin of President Bongo’s.

That the Bongo family has fleeced Gabon of its natural resources wealth is no secret and the subject of international investigations. However, it is fair to…

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