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The Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) conference and exhibition represents the country’s premier event for the oil and gas industry. International Conference Director for the 2022 edition of the conference, Miguel Artacho, provides insight into AOG 2022, what can be expected this year and what makes the Angolan energy market so attractive.
What made the third edition of AOG stand out from previous events?
It was even more successful! We received more than 1,100 delegates in the three days the conference ran. With a stable energy market serving as a basis for industrialization, job creation and economic stability, the recent regulatory and structural reforms implemented in Angola have made the country a destination of choice for both project promoters and investors, and AOG 2022 brought a strong argument in favor of investment.
Did the event exceed expectations?
Yes. It started with an address by President João Lourenço and included others such as Diamantino Azevedo, Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas and the Secretary General of OPEC, Haitham Al Ghais. We had delegates from over 44 countries and 92 speakers from the public and private sectors involved in various panels covering all sectors of Angola’s energy value chain.
The motto of this edition was “Promoting an inclusive, attractive and innovative oil and gas industry in Angola”. Is the Angolan sector innovative?
Angola has one of the largest and most-established O&G sectors on the continent and technological innovation is present throughout, particularly when it comes to offshore and ultra-deep offshore. Angola is also investing heavily in the diversification of its energy mix to incorporate a greater share of renewables. Angola has maintained high investments in the energy sector despite the difficult years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is one of the reasons why oil production in the country has not been as affected. Finally, Angola benefits from undeniable political stability, peace and security.
How did the idea for AOG come about?
Angola has been one of the largest O&G producers in sub-Saharan Africa for decades. Despite the country having large reserves, several fields are mature or in decline, and the only way to reverse the downward trend in output and keep production above the target of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) is to attract new investments and boost exploration. AOG showcases this highly strategic industry and serves as a platform to attract new investment.
Do these conferences contribute to the development of the sector in Angola?
Energy Capital & Power (ECP) organizes conferences across sub-Saharan Africa and over the course of 2021-2022, contracts were signed for deals in excess of $2.5 billion. Our conferences provide the ideal forum for all those interested in Angola’s oil and gas sector to come together and network with international partners, industry leaders, and global investors.
Will AOG be back in 2023?
It certainly will be and the aim for the next conference is to have even more delegates and exhibitors. The debate is likely to revolve around consolidating recent gains and Angola’s crucial role as a reliable source of energy supply to global markets, which is particularly important given the current geopolitical context.
What are the trends in the oil and gas industry in Angola?
There are many interesting projects going on. For example, last July TotalEnergies announced a final investment decision of $3 billion in the Begonia field.
How do you evaluate the evolution of the oil sector in Angola?
It is evolving well, thanks to the large investments made in recent years by the international oil companies (IOC) such as TotalEnergies, Chevron, ExxonMobil, bp, Eni, Equinor and Sonangol. These investments are a clear indication that operators are strongly committed to Angola for the long term.
What are the drivers of industry innovation in Angola?
One of the crucial drivers of innovation derives from the continuous promotion of technology transfer and local content in the energy sector. Angola has been particularly successful in this, and some companies already have more than 85-90% local content. Sonangol is also following in the footsteps of world leaders in the sector, progressively transforming itself into a fully integrated energy company rather than an oil company.
Local content is a very important topic. Where is Angola?
The promotion of local content has produced positive results in supporting economic diversification and faster industrialization in Angola. This has catalyzed the growth of other sectors directly and indirectly linked to the O&G industry.
How is Angola addressing the need for training a skilled workforce in this sector?
Angola has made the training and development of the local workforce a cornerstone of its long-term economic development program. Companies operating in the energy sector must conclude framework agreements with the ministry, establishing procedures for the recruitment, integration, training and development of the workforce as well as a human resources development plan.
What opportunities are available for foreign investment?
Angola has a good track record of using revenues from O&G projects to finance strategic sectors of the economy, thereby developing infrastructure, agriculture, education, and health care. But investors don’t come to Angola out of altruism: they do so because returns are high in all sectors, not just oil and gas. The country is expected to see real GDP growth above 5% between 2023-2025 as the post-COVID economic recovery gathers pace and the government of President João Lourenço has been working to improve the investment and business environment.
What role can technology play in reducing costs in this sector?
Technology is essential in all aspects of the energy value chain and both Sonangol and the IOCs operating in Angola use state-of-the-art technology in all their operations to reduce costs, streamline operational efficiency and maximize benefits for customers and shareholders.
How has environmental sustainability evolved in Angola’s oil and gas sector?
The Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency, Sonangol, and international oil companies operating in the country are involved in a range of projects to preserve the environment. The authorities are fully committed to further reducing emissions by 2030 and are diversifying the energy mix to incorporate a greater share of renewable energy sources.
What challenges do the development of these renewable sources face?
Primarily financing. Angola has very ambitious plans to make renewable energies increasingly competitive for investment. Sonangol is focused on expanding and consolidating its portfolio of green hydrogen projects and other renewable energy sources, including photovoltaic power plants.
Keep following ECP’s website and social media channels for any new exciting announcements regarding the AOG 2023 conference and exhibition!