YAOUNDE, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Oil production in Cameroon rose 15 percent year-on-year to 22.69 million barrels by the end of October, according to the state oil firm, but output may double within the next two years as new fields come on line.
Cameroon became a modest oil producer in 1977, with output hitting a record of 185,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 1986 before dropping steadily to 63,000 bpd in 2011 due to maturing fields.
However, new finds and new techniques to tap more oil from matured wells have seen volumes rising again.
"This increase results particularly from the Dissoni field production, as well as the commissioning of three new fields: Padouk, Inter Inoua-Barombi and Barombi," Cameroon's National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH) said in a statement on the output for the year to October.
The Dissoni oil field is operated by French oil firm Perenco in partnership with the state oil company. Perenco is also the operator in the Inter Inoua-Barombi and Barombi blocks. Addax Petroleum, a subsidiary of Sinopec Group, operates Padouk.
Some at the state company are even more optimistic.
"Crude production could double within two years thanks to the exploitation of new deposits. It could hit 57 million barrels in 2016," the SNH official said, requesting anonymity.
The state oil firm said in the statement that gas production jumped 123.9 percent to 9,160 million cubic feet compared with the same period last year. (Reporting by Tansa Musa; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by David Lewis)