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Outlook 2018
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West Africa—ready to blossom

The region looks forward to a year of intensified oil and natural gas activity

With Brent crude oil prices set to end 2017 averaging around $54 a barrel, exploration activity in West Africa will resume once again. For a region that has witnessed significant problems over the past few years, which have constrained, discouraged or prevented exploration activities—ranging from the Ebola outbreak, changes of government in Gambia, heightened militant attacks in Nigeria and court cases between Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana—it's certainly a positive development that explorers are gradually starting to ramp up activities. In reality, things have already started to get moving. It began in late 2016, when ExxonMobil drilled its first well in Liberia (although it turned out to be a dr

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