Oil prospection began in Cameroon in 1947. The first commercial discoveries were made in the Rio Del Rey basin in 1972, but the country became an oil producer only in 1977, when Kole field was put on production. Production reached the record level of 186 000 barrels per day in 1985. However, beginning 1986, when the "oil price collapse" occurred, it began to decline.
Faced with this situation, incentive measures aimed at reviving exploration/production activities were taken by the State as from 1990. Thanks to these measures, oil production was launched in the Douala/Kribi-Campo basin in 1997 from the Ebome field.