Angola’s oil and gas market witnessed a number of significant developments during the first half of Q3 this year.
As the country moves to reawaken investment and international company participation in its oil and gas market.
These developments make way for new discoveries to be made, production to be improved and energy security consolidated.
FID Announced for Begonia Project
In July 2022, French energy major, TotalEnergies, announced that a final investment decision (FID) had been made for the Begonia field, the first development of Block 17/06 offshore Angola. Comprising five wells tied back to the Pazflor Floating Production, Storage and Offloading unit (FPSO), the field will add 30,000 bpd to the FPSO’s production after commissioning in 2024. Initial investment was estimated at $850 million and 1.3 million man-hours of work – 70% of which will be carried out in Angola.
FID Announced for Q&M Fields
In addition to Begonia, TotalEnergies announced that a FID had been made for the Quiluma and Maboqueiro gas fields – Angola’s first non-associated natural gas projects. Gas produced from the offshore fields will be delivered to the Angola liquefied natural gas (ALNG) plant, improving production as well as the availability of gas for domestic use and export. The start of production is expected in mid-2026.
Sonangol Extends Luanda Refinery
In July 2022, Angola’s national oil company, Sonangol, announced an expansion of the Luanda refinery with the addition of another unit. Inaugurated by H.E. Joao Lourenco, President of Angola, the unit is set to increase production to 1,580,000 liters per day, thereby reducing fuel imports by 15%. Built with the support of Italian energy major Eni, the unit will significantly improve domestic refining capacity, ensuring energy security for the oil-rich nation.
Azule Energy Commences Operations
The beginning of August 2022 saw Eni and bp establishing Angola’s newest and largest independent joint venture: Azule Energy. Representing a 50:50 venture, Azule Energy combines Eni and bp’s Angola businesses, with the firm now holding two billion barrels of oil equivalent, stakes in 16 licenses – six of which are exploration blocks – and an interest in the ALNG joint venture. Leveraging both companies’ expertise, Azule Energy targets 250,000 bpd over the next five years.
Afentra Buys Further Stake in Offshore Blocks
London-listed oil and gas company, Afentra, has agreed to purchase interests in two shallow-water offshore blocks in Angola from Croatian energy company, INA-Industrija Nafte. Under the terms of the agreement, Afentra will buy an additional 4% interest in Block 3/05 and a 5.33% interest in Block 3/05A. The purchase follows Afentra’s entry into the market in April 2022, whereby the firm bought a 20% non-operated interest in Block 3/05 as well as a 40% non-operated interest in Block 23 from Sonangol. With the new sale, Afentra is strengthening its presence across the Angolan offshore market even further.
Improving Support Services
Meanwhile, Angola is strengthening support services for offshore oil and gas operations with the purchase of two AW139 twin-engine helicopters from Italian aerospace company Leonardo. Purchased by Sonangol subsidiary, SonAir, following delivery in Q1, 2023, the helicopters will provide transport services across Angola’s rapidly expanding oil and gas industry, replacing SonAir’s aging fleet and supporting offshore operations.
Additionally, Dutch maritime services firm, EMAR Offshore Services, has purchased two Damen Fast Crew Suppliers 2206 that will also support offshore operations in Angola. The vessels have the capacity to carry up to 42 personnel plus two crew and are capable of reaching even the most remote oil and gas platforms.