Angola Oil and Gas Profile
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Angola Oil & Gas News

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Prelude Floating LNG Terminal


Probably the most exciting project in the world of Oil & Gas. The platform will be the largest ship ever built


  • Angola has become the largest crude oil producing country in Africa, surpassing Nigeria in 2009 due to attacks on the oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta. Oil plays an important role in the Angolan economy, accounting for over 90 percent of export revenues and over 80 percent of GDP.
  • Despite crude oil production limitations imposed by OPEC, Angola is expected to increase oil production and capacity in the short-term as new offshore projects come online and foreign investment continues to flow into the sector.
  • Natural gas production in Angola is tied directly to oil production and is often vented or flared, with limited volumes consumed domestically. Plans are underway to capture and market this natural gas for domestic electricity generation and to export most of it in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2012.


  • The sector is regulated by the 2004 Petroleum Act. This law aims to establish the rules of access and performance of petroleum operations in the areas of available surface and submerged the national territory, internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
  • Sonangol has the exclusive rights to oil and gas exploration and production in Angola - both onshore and offshore. The process of negotiating and granting oil concessions, as well as aftermath control, is the responsibility of Sonangol Holding.


  • Oil production in Angola is concentrated in numerous offshore blocks. The offshore blocks are divided into three bands; shallow water blocks 0-13 (band A); deepwater blocks 14-30 (band B); and ultra-deepwater blocks 31-40 (band C). Additional blocks are now being designated in the ultra-deepwater offshore lower Congo Basin (click here to view Sonangol’s concession map).
  • Despite the expense of developing the deepwater and ultra-deepwater fields, Angolan oil production has grown rapidly over the past decade and will continue to do so in the short-term. Major existing and future developments are summarized below.
  • A Statoil Platform in Angola


  • Onshore exploration and production activities have mainly focused around the Cabinda province and were halted during Angola’s civil war. The Cabinda province is home to separatist movements demanding access to oil revenues and greater participation in oil policy.
  • While the government has appointed members to political positions, and security has improved, clashes still occur between the military and rebels in the area. Some existing wells that were drilled prior to the war and the neighboring Block Zero have proven to be extremely successful (see below).


  • Photo: BP Offshore Drilling Rig
  • Block Zero: Block Zero is located offshore Cabinda province and is divided into two separate areas with 21 fields. Cabinda Gulf Oil Company (CABGOC), a Chevron subsidiary and operator of Block Zero since 1955, has a 39.2 percent share in the JV. Other partners include Total and Eni.
  • According to Chevron, Block Zero accounted for approximately 340,000 bbl/d of production in 2008. Additional production is expected from the Block as drilling and exploration activities continue.
  • In July 2009, Chevron also announced that the Mafumeira Oil and Gas Field was underway and the first field was to reach peak production of 30,000 bbl/d by 2011.
  • Block 14: In addition to Block Zero, CABGOC is the operator of neighboring deepwater Block 14 (also offshore Cabinda) with 31 percent interest and is joined by partners Eni, Sonangol, Total and Petrogal. A total of 11 discoveries have been made on the block with Kuito Oil Field being the first in 1997.
  • Production in Block 14 centers around the Benguela, Belize, Lobito, and Tomboco BBLT Oil Fields which reached its 200,000 bbl/d peak in 2008; the recently started up Tombua-Landana Oil Field which is expected to peak in late 2010 at 100,000 bbl/d; and the Kuito field which has been in decline from its 2000 peak of 80,000 bbl/d. As with Block Zero, further exploration is underway.
  • Block 15: ExxonMobil is operator of Block 15, the largest producing deepwater block in Angola along with partners BP, Eni and StatoilHydro. Block 15 is located in the Congo Basin and has estimated recoverable hydrocarbon reserves of 4.5 billion bbl, and at peak production, Block 15 is expected to exceed 800,000 bbl/d.
  • In 2003, ExxonMobil brought online Xikomba Oil Field, with estimated recoverable reserves of 100 million bbl. Production from Xikomba is currently below 20,000 bbl/d. In August 2004, the first of the Kizomba developments, four floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facilities were brought online:
  • The Kizomba-A project, which includes the Chocalho and Hungo fields, was the first of the Kizomba projects started in 2004 and peaked at 250,000 bbl/d. Phase 2 of this project started up in 2007 with the Marimba North field adding a further 40,000 bbl/d.
  • The Kizomba-B project, brought online in 2005 includes the Dikanza and Kissanje fields. Kizomba-B contains an estimated one billion bbl of recoverable oil reserves peak production was an estimated 250,000 bbl/d.
  • The Kizomba-C project, consists of the Batuque, Mondo and Saxi fields. Production at the Mondo field came onstream in January of 2008 and the Saxi-Batuque Oil Field came onstream in mid- 2008 with a combined peak of 200,000 bbl/d.
  • The Kizomba-D fields are expected onstream after 2011 with a peak production capacity of 120,000 bbl/d. There is potential for added production from surrounding satellite fields expected onstream after 2010 that could produce an additional 125,000 bbl/d.
  • Block 17: Total operates Block 17 with a 40 percent share, while Sonangol is the concession holder. Other shareholders include ExxonMobil, BP, and StatoilHydro. According to BP, the block is producing around 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Field production started in December 2001 with the startup of the Girassol Oil Field and production has since been maintained by the startup of Jasimin (2003), Dalia Oil Field (2006) and Rosa Oil Field (2007)
  • Future projects on Block 17 include Pazflor Oil Field and CLOV Oil and Gas Fields, which will produce an estimated 200,000 bbl/d and 150,000 bbl/d, respectively, starting in 2011. In 2009, Total also announced a new discovery, Gardenia-1 that confirmed the companies plans to expand activities in the block.
  • Block 18: The Greater Plutonio Oil Field in Block 18 (BP operated) came online in October of 2007 at 100,000 bbl/d. The development consists of five fields: Plutonio, Galio, Paladio, Cromio and Cobalto and is currently producing just under 200,000 bbl/d.

Active Companies

  • In 1976, the Angolan government created a national oil company (NOC) called the Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis de Angola (Sonangol).
  • In 1978, Sonangol became the sole concessionaire for oil and gas exploration and production in Angola. Sonangol works with foreign companies through joint ventures (JVs) and production sharing agreements (PSAs), while funding its share of production through oil-backed borrowing.
  • In recent years, Sonangol has become more active in both upstream and downstream operations. Major international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Angola include BP, Chevron, Total, ExxonMobil and Eni.
  • China’s Sinopec and CNOOC are among the newer international companies operating in Angola and are proving to be important players in terms of development aid, oil backed loans and trade.
  • Maersk Oil entered Angola in June 2005, when it acquired a 50% interest and operatorship of Block 16. In November 2006, it acquired a 50% interest and operatorship of Blocks 8 and 23 with Svenska Petroleum Exploration (30%) and Sonangol (20%). Maersk Oil made the Chissonga discovery on Block 16 in 2009 and drilled two further appraisal wells in 2010 and 2011.
  • Sonangol has a list of active companies here

Crude Oils


Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • Chevron and Sonangol together with other shareholders including Total, BP and Eni are building a five-million-ton LNG plant near Soyo in northern Angola. The plant is expected to be operational by 2012. See Angola Soyo Lng Terminal


  • Domestic oil consumption in 2009 was approximately 65,000 bbl/d. The country’s one refinery in Luanda, Fina Petroleos de Angola – a JV between Sonangol Total and private investors – has a crude oil processing capacity of 39,000 bbl/d.
  • See Luanda Refinery
  • The remaining demand is met by imports of gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, distillate fuel oil, and other products.
  • Angola is developing plans for a new 200,000 bbl/d refinery, SonaRef, in the coastal city of Lobito. The project was initially to be built in partnership with Sinopec but the Chinese company withdrew as a result of disagreements regarding the market for products. Sonangol is now proceeding with the SonaRef project but the project completion date is now slated for 2014-2015.
  • The new refinery will be able to process heavy crudes, such as those found in the Kuito and Dalia fields.
  • In the interim, the expected demand increases will continue to be met by product imports
  • See Lobito Refinery Project

Relevant Links

Company Angola Pages

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