State oil firm, Gabon Oil Company (GOC), has signed its first oil production contract with the acquisition of the Mboumba field, Ecofin Agency reported.

GOC was created by decree in 2011 and has until now mostly been focused on selling crude oil produced by international firms and refined products. The company’s strategy is to optimize onshore revenue so that in a couple of years it will be able to compete with international oil companies on offshore developments, according to Daily Mail.

The OPEC member and Africa’s fourth largest producer, with an output of approximately 220,000b/d, is controlled by international oil majors such as Total and Royal Dutch Shell. Gabon has allocated many new offshore licenses in the past few years amid hopes that explorers would find vast reserves tucked deep below a layer of salt in the seabed similar to those discovered offshore Brazil.

In related news, Egypt Oil&Gas reported in August that Vaalco Energy’s Avouma 2-H well on the Avouma platform offshore Gabon in the Etame Marin Permit has resumed production at a stable rate, with the well producing approximately 1,850b/d of oil.