Gabon Expedition: Rendezvous in the Rough Seas of an Oil Field
The scene is surreal: the sun is setting, the skies overcast. We are bombing south in a tender boat for a rendezvous in rough seas. The lights of square buildings many stories high and gas flares illuminate the sea to the horizon. This is the Total oil field south of Port Gentil, Gabon. Total has been producing a significant percentage of the Gabonese national budget for decades and today is the first time I have ventured so close.
The tender captain didn’t like the looks of what we needed to do. It was almost dark. He had to power the bow of the boat up to pipes arranged in a cup below the rig and keep it there. At the right