The Republic of Congo is one of the hydrocarbon-producing countries in Africa. This production accounts for a larger contribution of around 75% to the State budget.
Prospection, research, exploitation, storage and transport of hydrocarbons from the site are governed by Act n° 24-94 of August 23, 1994 in respect of Hydrocarbon Code. As a supplement to the aforementioned Act, Act n° 6-2001 of October 19, 2001 organizes activities of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon by-products refinery, imports, exports, transit, re-exports, storage, bulk transport, distribution and marketing.
The Act of 2001 provides that the specifications and characteristics of hydrocarbons must be compliant with approved international standards within the oil industry and they should be established by way of regulations concerning products earmarked for domestic market.
In this regard, the President of the Republic of Congo has recently established the specifications of hydrocarbons refined locally, imported, and marketed on the national territory of the Republic of Congo. This provision is contained under decree n° 2013 - 394 of July 29, 2013. The following products are:
- Premium grade gasoline produced locally or imported is a mixture of hydrocarbons of mineral or synthetic origin for feeding controlled-ignition engines;
- Diesel fuel produced locally or imported is a mixture of hydrocarbons of mineral or synthetic origin and possibly vegetable oil methyl ester for feeding compression- ignition engines;
- Fuel oil (or heating oil) produced locally or imported is a mixture of hydrocarbons of mineral or synthetic origin and possibly vegetable oil methyl ester for heat production in a combustion plant, or in other conditions of use, for feeding internal combustion engines;
- Domestic kerosene produced locally or imported is a mixture of hydrocarbons of mineral or synthetic origin for household stoves and /or lighting lamps;
- The commercial butane produced locally or imported consisting essentially of a mixture of hydrocarbons composed mainly of butanes and butenes and containing less than 19 % of propane and propene in volume.
All the by-product of hydrocarbons above-mentioned must meet the specifications, norms, standards, codes and practices applicable in the international oil industry in terms of quality and industrial safety.
Nevertheless, with regards to Jet A1 fuel produced locally or imported, a mixture of hydrocarbons of mineral or synthetic origin for jet plane or plane propelled by turbine engine, it must meet the international specifications following the current last edition of AFQRJOS which stands for (‘’Aviation Fuel Quality Requirements for Jointly Operated Systems’’).
Compliance monitoring of these oil products is carried out by laboratories authorized by the Minister in charge of hydrocarbons.
It should be noted that all refined and marketable hydrocarbons producers and importers in the Republic of Congo must make sure that their products meet the characteristics set forth in the said decree. Those who fail to comply with these provisions run the risk of having their approval suspended by a Minister’s order or annulment by a decree.
In conclusion, it is noteworthy mentioning that this decree supplements other decrees taken to implement the Act of 2001 and repeals Act n° 2002-262 of August 1, 2002 setting forth the specifications of refined or marketable imported hydrocarbon products.