Big Oil Backs Away From a Former Industry Darling

9 Dec 2017   Angola

The boom in oil money helped crown Angola’s seaside capital, Luanda, as the world’s most expensive city. Angola was once a magnet for the world’s biggest oil companies, drawing billions of dollars in investment from BP PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM 0.13% and others back when crude prices were rising to $100 a barrel. Now, foreign companies have all but given up on new ventures there. BP PLC partially pulled out of an offshore block, taking a $750 million write-down this year. Halliburton Co. HAL 1.22% and other oil-service companies blamed falling revenue on declining activity in regions including Angola. Total SA of France is reshuffling personnel to cut costs while Italy’s Eni E 0.18% SpA is renegotiating service contracts. Energy companies have reduced capital spending in Angola more than in any other sub-Saharan African country, with an estimated $67 billion in spending cuts from 2015 to 2020, according […]

Africa’s richest woman removed as head of Angola state oil group

16 Nov 2017   Angola

Angola’s president João Lourenço has dismissed Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, as head of the country’s state oil company, in a bold move to wrest power from the family of the country’s former leader. The daughter of former president José Eduardo dos Santos, who stepped down ahead of elections in August after 38 years in power, had run Sonangol for just under 18 months, having been appointed by presidential decree in June 2016. The move to replace her with the secretary of state for oil, former Sonangol executive Carlos Saturnino, underscores Mr Lourenço’s apparent determination to move swiftly against the old regime and to establish his own power base.

Until now, a series of moves against allies of the former president had been variously interpreted as the first signs of something bigger or choreographed theatre cooked up with Mr dos Santos, who is still head of the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), to give the perception of change. But the move to replace Ms dos Santos, alongside six other Sonangol board members, is the first direct assault on the patronage of the Dos Santos family, taking control of an energy industry that has been the primary source of Angola’s wealth since the end of its brutal three decade-long civil war in 2002.

“This is the big one,” said Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, an Angola specialist at Oxford university. “It’s no longer cosmetic changes.” Since taking office in September Mr Lourenço has replaced the head of the central bank, Angola’s government-backed diamond company and the boards of all three state-run media companies.

Portugal Dominated Angola for Centuries. Now the Roles Are Reversed.

22 Aug 2017   Angola, Portugal

How the roles have reversed: The colonizer, some Portuguese contend, has been colonized. On the Portuguese coast of Cascais, where the nation’s royal court used to summer, a new 14-story condominium building looms confidently by the sea. So many of its apartments have been bought by Angola’s ruling class — sometimes a handful at a time — that the development has a nickname: the “Angolans’ building.” Along the grandest shopping boulevard in the capital, Lisbon, Angola’s elite buy designer suits and handbags by the armful. And on one corner, above Louis Vuitton, sits the local office of Africa’s richest woman , Isabel dos Santos, a billionaire from Angola who has become one of Portugal ’s most powerful figures by buying large chunks of the country’s banking, media and energy industries. The money […]

Angola adds to supply-side strains for oil

9 Feb 2017   Angola

Italian energy company Eni said Wednesday it started production at an oil facility off the coast of Angola in record-setting fashion. The company said operations started at its East Hub project in deep Angolan waters using an offshore floating production vessel capable of generating up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day. The facility can also process a significant volume of natural gas. “We are beginning production of the East Hub with a time-to-market of only 3 years, and 5 months ahead of schedule,” CEO Claudio Descalzi said in a statement . Eni said the new production will add to legacy assets offshore Angola, where another production vessel is already in place. In total, the Italian company said its assets there could peak at 150,000 bpd this year. Angola is […]

Angola’s March Oil Exports To Drop To 1.51 Million Bpd

28 Jan 2017   Angola

Angola’s state-held oil firm Sonangol plans to load 1.51 million barrels per day in March under its finalized exports schedule, down from plans to export 1.62 million bpd in February, Reuters reported on Friday, citing a copy of the loading program it had seen. Some dates for shipping crude have been altered, but the March volumes are the same as released in the loading schedule from ten days ago, Reuters said. Most of the oil in the March schedule is already traded and a large part of it is bound for Asia, where demand for medium and heavy crude grades is solid. An OPEC member and one of Africa’s biggest producers, Angola pledged to cut 78,000 bpd of its production as part of the cartel’s deal to curtail supply in the hope of rebalancing the oil market and lifting crude oil prices. Early this month, Sonangol said that it […]

Angolan Fund Says China Exim Will Lend $600 Million for New Port

25 Jan 2017   Angola, China

The Export-Import Bank of China is lending Angola as much as $600 million for the construction of a deep-sea port in the northern enclave of Cabinda, according to Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the chairman of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund. The first phase of the port, which will include a 630-meter (2,070-foot) container terminal, ship-repair facilities, warehouses, a power plant and a free-trade zone, will be completed in the second half of this year, Dos Santos said in an interview in London on Tuesday. The work is being carried out by a Chinese construction company. Fundo Soberano de Angola, the wealth fund known by its Portuguese acronym FSDEA , is investing $180 million from its infrastructure fund in return for a 50 percent stake in Caio Porto, the company operating the project, Dos Santos said. The other half is owned by Angolan investors whom Dos Santos declined to identify. The […]

Sonangol considering return to Iraq

11 Jan 2017   Angola, Iraq

Three years after security problems forced them out, Iraq is courting the Angolan state firm back to the Qayarah and Najmah fields. Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi (right) meets in his office with Edson dos Santos, executive administrator of Sonangol. (Source: Oil Ministry press office) Sonangol executives are considering whether – and when – to return to two oil projects south of Mosul, long plagued by security problems, which the company left just before the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) group launched its invasion of much of northern Iraq.Earlier this week in Baghdad, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luiebi met a Sonangol delegation led by Executive Administrator Edson dos Santos.Company leaders expect to discuss the prospect of returning to Iraq over the coming… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free […]

Economy strained for OPEC-member Angola

31 Dec 2016   Angola

The steady decline in crude oil prices from 2014 peaks above $100 per barrel has left lasting impacts on the economy of OPEC-member Angola, the International Monetary Fund said. Angola is one of the lesser producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, accounting for less than 1 percent of the total output from the group. Oil supports about 45 percent of the nation’s economy and nearly all of its exports. An assessment from the IMF found the decline in crude oil prices since 2014 caused severe damage to the Angolan economy. “Fiscal revenue and exports fell substantially, economic growth came to a halt, and inflation accelerated sharply to levels not seen in over a decade,” Ricardo Velloso, the IMF division chief for Angola, said in a statement. Angola, under the terms of a managed decline agreement from OPEC, committed to cut about 78,000 […]

Analyst: Angolan Gas Discovery Has At Least Decade Before it Comes Online

12 Nov 2016   Angola

The recently announced gas discovery in the offshore Kwanza basin has a number of hurdles to overcome, say oil and gas analysts. The recently announced gas discovery in Angola’s offshore Kwanza basin won’t be developed before the end of the next decade, Readul Islam said, a senior oil and gas analyst at Rystad Energy. Angolan state oil company Sonangol revealed the find at the end of June, stating that the discovery in Block 20/11 held an estimated 313 million barrels of condensate and 2.8 trillion cubic feet of gas . The reason for the delay in the development of this discovery is partially due to problems surrounding the ownership of the block in which the find is located, Islam said. The sale of Cobalt International Energy’s operated stake in Blocks 20 and 21 to Sonangol, for a total price of $1.75 billion, was originally announced Aug. 24, 2015. After […]

Africa: Angola Leads Oil Production in Africa

9 Nov 2016   Angola

With its 1.7 million barrels of crude oil a day, well above Nigeria’s 1.5 million, Angola stood in September this year, for seven running months, at the head of the African oil producing countries. The information is contained in a report from the Organisation of Petroleum Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC). The report states that Nigeria led the African ranking in 2016 with its 1.8 million barrels a day, against Angola’s 1.7 million, but recorded a drop to 1.4 million in May this year, caused by terrorist attacks, armed groups and internal political instability. Angola is faced with an economic crisis since 2014, as a result of the fall in the oil price on the world market, dropped from more than Usd 100 a barrel in the first semester of that year to Usd 36, against 45 the Government expected to yield, in line with the 2016 […]

The Toilet Paper Crisis: Angola’s Oil Firm Can’t Supply The Basics

5 Nov 2016   Angola

Sonangol, the state oil company of Africa’s current number-one oil producer seems to be in shambles, with the management unable – or unwilling – to pay for washroom supplies, according to employees cited by local media. People working for the company, on which their entire country depends, say they are embarrassed that they have to bring their own toilet paper to work (BYOT). The management, however, is spared this embarrassment, they told Maka Angola–a media outlet close to the opposition. “Every worker has to bring their own toilet paper from home because Sonangol has been unable to pay its suppliers and we have a toilet paper crisis,” one official shared. This management, a whole new one, has at the helm Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. She was appointed by her father to the high seat earlier this year in a […]

Angola Was China’s Largest Foreign Crude Supplier In September

25 Oct 2016   Angola, China

China oil Angola overtook Russia as China’s biggest oil supplier last month, exporting 1.02 million barrels per day to the Asian country, up by 45.8 percent on the year, Reuters reported on Monday, citing Chinese customs data. In comparison, China’s imports of Russian oil dropped by 2.14 percent to 962,620 bpd in September. Shipments of Saudi oil to China went down 1.29 percent to 949,500 bpd, while China’s Iraqi imports soared 58.4 percent to come in at 989,400 bpd. On an annual basis, Saudi Arabia managed to eke out the win as China’s the number-one foreign supplier of oil, with an average 1.03 million bpd of oil imports, while Angola ranked third on a year-to-date basis, with 916,229 bpd in average oil imports, up 17.7 percent annually. Last month’s high Angolan shipments to China should not come as a complete surprise, because Angola had also topped the Chinese foreign […]

More oil pending from Angola

15 Oct 2016   Angola

Italian energy company Eni said it was one step closer to its goal of pulling more oil from Angola with the pending launch of an offshore production facility. Eni said it held a naming ceremony in Singapore for a floating production, storage and offloading vessel for the Armada Olombendo. The company said the vessel will soon be ready to sail for its intended position off the coast of Angola. “Eni and its partners reached a key milestone towards achieving the first oil from East Hub development project, which is planned by the first half of 2017,” the company said in a statement . Angola is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC said Angola has proven crude […]

More Angolan Soldiers Reportedly Killed in Oil-Rich Cabinda Area

9 Aug 2016   Angola

At least ten Angolan soldiers were killed during the last clash with the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) in the oil-rich Cabinda enclave, according to information from the separatist guerillas. Nearly forty combatants have died in a flare-up of violence after exiled FLEC founder Nzita Tiago passed away on 3 June at the age of 88. According to a FLEC statement, the confrontation took place last Friday and Saturday in the Cabinda area where the rebels have sought independence from Angola. The rebels previously claimed to have slain twenty-six soldiers during battles from 29 July to the 31 July. Following those incidents, the FLEC warned foreign workers to leave Cabinda since their lives were in danger . The guerillas reiterated those demands in a communiqué issued on Monday when they urged relocation of Chinese workers whose presence allegedly “constitutes a provocation.” The Angolan government […]

Angolan/OPEC Relations: Toxic or Worse?

5 Aug 2016   Angola

On Tuesday, news broke of Angola’s decision to back out of a deal with Cobalt International Energy to purchase an oil discovery for $1.8 billion. Sonangol, Angola’s state energy firm, had reached an agreement with the Texas-based company a year ago, but Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of the Angolan president and Sonangol’s new boss, advised Cobalt to find a new buyer for its assets, which lie off the Angolan Coast, earlier this week, according to The Financial Times. The move, which distances Sonangol from an ongoing United States Department of Justice investigation into Cobalt’s conduct in Angola, serves as a show of strength for Santos, after several members of her father’s political opposition called her appointment a clear sign of nepotism. Santos’ refusal to accept the deal shows the new leader’s willingness to make meaningful breaks in preexisting polices and structures in a difficult economic period for […]

An oil boom made it the most expensive city in the world. Now it’s in crisis.

3 Aug 2016   Angola

A girl stands beside a laundry line in a poor neighborhood overlooking Cabinda, a heavily guarded territory that accounts for half of Angola’s oil output. (Nichole Sobecki/For The Washington Post) LUANDA, Angola — As the price of oil rose earlier this decade, this capital city did as well. Glass skyscrapers soared above the rubble of a 27-year civil war. American pop stars such as Mariah Carey were flown in to play private concerts. Luanda would become, its government announced, “a new Dubai.” But as oil prices have crashed, the impact on one of Africa’s richest and most unequal countries has been devastating. The same officials who boasted of Luanda’s sparkling ascent are asking for billions of dollars in loans. Thousands of people are dying of preventable illnesses , and the nation’s hospitals are out of medicine. A bag of rice can now cost five times what it did a […]

Angola sees gloomier economic prospects on oil price slump

15 Jul 2016   Angola

Angola is at a critical juncture as its government sees a bleak year ahead as the continued oil price slump has made it halve its 2016 growth forecast. The oil sector, on which the country is heavily dependent, has seen a few major changes with the national oil company Sonangol recently suspending all talks on the sale of its assets. Sonangol, the country’s biggest company, was overhauled last month, with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos appointing his daughter Isabel dos Santos as its head. The finance ministry said in a statement late Monday that due to the sharp fall in prices earlier this year it has cut its GDP growth forecast for this year to 1.3% from its previous estimate of 3.3%. Angola’s GDP growth was 4% last year, ministry data showed. The ministry also said its 2016 expenditure was reduced from $30 billion to $24 billion, which […]

Angola’s Inflation Rate Climbs to Highest Since at Least 2011

13 Jul 2016   Angola

Angola’s inflation rate rose to the highest in at least five-and-half years in June. Inflation accelerated to 31.8 percent last month from 29.2 percent in May, the Luanda-based National Statistics Institute said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. Prices rose 3.3 percent in the month. Close all those tabs. Open this email. Get Bloomberg’s daily newsletter. Politics The latest political news, analysis, charts, and dispatches from the campaign trail. You will now receive the Politics newsletter Markets Your daily must-read for the most important news in markets. You will now receive the Markets newsletter Pursuits What to eat, drink, wear and drive – in real life and your dreams. You will now receive the Pursuits newsletter Game Plan Advice nobody tells you about getting ahead at work, school and life. You will now receive the Game Plan newsletter The Banco Nacional de Angola increased its key lending […]

Angola Must Live a New Era Without Oil – Economist

9 Jul 2016   Angola

Angola must create objective conditions to live a new era in which there would be political, economic and social stability without relying on the oil industry, a sector which currently represents 95 percent of the country’s exports, said the Angolan economist Manuel Nunes Júnior. According to the source, the country is still strongly dependant on crude-oil, which is why the fall of its price in the international market led to the reduction of the country’s foreign currencies and consequently caused a pressure on foreign exchange reserves of the country. Manuel Nunes Júnior was speaking Tuesday on “The impact of the fall of oil prices in the international market and the measures of the Executive to promote the national economy growth”, in the 4th Business and investment Opportunities Forum, in the northern Uige Province.

Angolan President Tells IMF His Country Wants to End Loan Talks

1 Jul 2016   Angola

Angola economy, currency has suffered from drop in oil prices IMF completed a mission to Angola earlier this month Angola said it no longer wants to continue talks with the International Monetary Fund about a loan to help the oil producer cope with a slide in prices, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said. Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has said that his government only wants to continue dialogue on the IMF’s annual assessments of the Angolan economy, Rice said at the fund’s regular press conference in Washington. The IMF mission chief to Angola, Ricardo Velloso, completed a two-week visit to Angola earlier this month after the country’s Finance Ministry on April 6 said it was seeking support to “complement the already steadfast response to the decline in oil prices.” State revenue in Africa’s second-biggest producer of the commodity has plunged and the kwanza has declined against the dollar due […]

Angola’s State-Run Sonangol Confirms More Oil And Gas In Major Discovery

23 Jun 2016   Angola

Offshore Oil Rig Angola’s state-run oil giant Sonangol, recently taken over by the president’s daughter, has announced a gas discovery in the offshore Kwanza Basin that could hold 813 million barrels of oil equivalent, news agencies report. The discovery is in Block 20/11 and BP Plc holds an interest in this block along with the Angolan state company. According to Sonangol, the block holds an estimated 313 million barrels of condensate and 2.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Despite Angola’s dire economic straits, this is the seventh recent discovery. This follows up on the initial news of the discovery, announced in April by Sonangol and later in May by U.S. operator Cobalt. Cobalt had unveiled the discovery of condensates and natural gas in the Zalophus #1 well in Block 20 offshore Angola, in the sixth pre-salt discovery offshore Angola, and the third such in this same block. The […]

Africa’s richest woman to completely overhaul Angola’s state-run oil co.

8 Jun 2016   Angola

Isabel dos Santos — the richest woman in Africa, the Angolan president’s daughter and now the CEO of the country’s state-run oil giant — on Monday said she plans to overhaul the Sonangol oil company department by department to bring it out of the oil price crisis. Isabel dos Santos became CEO last week after a presidential decree from her father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, appointed her to the lucrative and vital position. The company’s previous leader had been at its helm for 36 years, prompting fears of nepotism from the president’s opponents, one of which, The National Union for Total Independence of Angola, rejected Isabel’s appointment on Tuesday. Related: Rebound In Oil Prices Changes Drillers’ Mindset “The measure confirms once more the practice of nepotism by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos,” Unita, said in an emailed statement released on Tuesday. “Angolans should not accept President dos Santos becoming […]

Angola Oil Company Sonangol Denies Report About $50 Billion Hole

8 Jun 2016   Angola

Angolan state-owned oil company Sonangol said a report about a $50 billion shortfall in its accounts is “absolutely false.” Angolan newspaper Valor Economico reported on Monday that international consultants hired to reorganize Sonangol had found discrepancies between the funds received and invested by the company. It also said some of the oil producer’s assets were overvalued and contracts weren’t negotiated in the best interest of the state. “The board of Sonangol categorically denies the report by Angolan newspaper Valor Economico that refers to the existence of imparities of $50 billion,” Sonangol said in the statement on Tuesday. The consultants hired “didn’t carry out any detailed financial analysis and therefore the content of the report that was published is absolutely false and unreasonable.” Sonangol has been in the spotlight since Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, was appointed chairwoman of the Luanda-based company following […]

Angola: Lawyers Plot to Block New Post of Angola Leader’s Daughter

7 Jun 2016   Angola

Twelve Angolan lawyers have decided to block the appointment of the President’s daughter as a non-executive administrator of the state-owned oil firm Sonangol. President José Eduardo dos Santos, 73, who has ruled the country since 1979 on Thursday appointed Ms Isabel dos Santos to the high position. The lawyers will hand a petition to the country’s Attorney-General’s Office and file a complaint against the country’s president for allegedly violating public probity laws. The spokesperson of the meeting Mr David Mendes said a work group will design by Wednesday a text to impugn the appointment of Ms Santos and it will be handed on Thursday to the country’s Supreme Court too. “The law says a public agent must not nominate or allow nominations and agreements when there is an intervention of his wife or his first degree relatives,” Mr Mendes told VOA Radio on Sunday. “The appointment is […]

After Massive Shake Up, President’s Daughter to Head Angola’s Oil Gian

4 Jun 2016   Angola

Isabel dos Santos Long-time Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has appointed his daughter to lead the oil-rich country’s state-run oil giant Sonangol after firing the entire board and replacing all executives. It’s a significant move as Angola surpasses Nigeria as Africa’s number one producer, with an official press release noting that the Sonangol purge is “part of a plan to restructure the business so it runs more efficiently”. The ‘first daughter’, Isabel dos Santos, has been named chairwoman of Sonangol. She is said to be Afrcia’s richest woman, worth US$3.3 billion, according to Forbes . Her name is also mentioned in so-called “Panama papers.” Dos Santos, who had been the president of the Angolan Red Cross, caused public outrage late last year when she spent US$2 million to fly US rapper Nicki Minaj to Angola for a brief musical performance. Related: Iran Eyes $185 Billion In Foreign Investment […]

Angola Leader Secures Economic Grip Naming Daughter as Oil Boss

4 Jun 2016   Angola

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos tightened his family’s grip on sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest economy two years before he has indicated he’ll leave office by naming his billionaire daughter Isabel as chairwoman of the state oil company. The appointment “shows that President dos Santos doesn’t trust anyone else and moreover that he’s looking to have a dynastic succession,” Markus Weimer, an analyst for Horizon Client Access Inc., an energy investment advisory group, said Friday by phone from London. “It’s a very strong indication that Isabel will also be considered a possible leader when he retires in 2018.” The Russian-educated dos Santos, Africa’s second-longest serving president, has said he will quit “active politics” in 2018 after leading the country since 1979. His son Jose Filomeno dos Santos already runs Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund. Angola ranked 163 out of 167 countries in Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index and […]

Angola: Dos Santos Names Daughter as State Oil Firm President

3 Jun 2016   Angola

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has appointed the Board of Directors of Sonangol, reports the country’s National State Radio (RNA) . Isabel dos Santos is now at the head of the oil organisation. Dos Santos is considered the richest woman in Africa, with her wealth estimated at US $3.3 billion . Her company Galp is Portugal’s largest company in the oil and gas sector with share capital worth 9.5 billion euros. Maka Angola has conducted an investigation which “unmasks Isabel dos Santos and proves that – contrary to her assertions – her Galp shares were obtained via Sonangol in a business deal paid for by State money and public funds”. New board of Sonangol: – Isabel dos Santos – non executive Administrator and President the Board of Directors. – Paulino Fernando de Carvalho Gerónimo – Director and chairman of the Executive Committee. – Caesar Paxi Manuel João Pedro – […]

Angola: Low Oil Prices Undo Angola

10 Mar 2016   Angola

The crash in the price of oil has hit Angola hard. Hospitals across the country are low on resources, including medicines. There are food shortages in the North, drought in the South. From Cabinda to Namibe, empty shelves in the stores attest to the government’s lack of response. If people are facing such serious difficulties in their day-to-day lives (in the so-called ‘micro’ economy) matters are no better on the macroeconomic scale where double-digit inflation is taking its toll. According to the National Institute of Statistics, inflation in the capital Luanda was running at 1.4% between September and October 2015. Additionally, in the first months of 2016, the Kwanza has been devalued by 26%. The reason for all this is the low price of oil. According to the United Nations Development Program, Angola has the least diversified economy in the world after Iraq. Any fall in the price of […]

Angolan Rebels to Resume Armed Insurrection in Oil-Rich Region

20 Feb 2016   Angola

Rebels in Angola’s oil-rich Cabinda region said they’re resuming an armed campaign to gain independence for the enclave after the government failed to respond to its request for talks. The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, which has waged a low-level insurgency for autonomy for more than three decades, will adopt the “military way” until President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos’ administration agrees to “serious and concrete” dialogue, according to a statement published by Portuguese news agency Lusa. Angola, Africa’s second-biggest crude producer, pumps most of its 1.75 million barrels a day from off the coast of Cabinda, which is separated from the country by a sliver of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda came to prominence in January 2010, when it claimed responsibility for killing two members of the visiting Togolese soccer team during a tournament. The […]

Angola: How Long Can Angola Hold On With Low Oil Prices?

28 Dec 2015   Angola

Oil was the driving force behind Angola’s economic growth. Now it’s the driving force behind its high inflation, depreciating currency and broader economic crisis. After petroleum prices started to fall in the late summer of 2014, oil-exporting countries worldwide have been facing difficulties. Oil-dependent Angola is no exception. The remarkable economic growth that helped promote Angola to upper middle-income status has lost its momentum. And the country’s macroeconomic improvements, applauded by the International Monetary Fund and others alike, are proving inadequate for dealing with the difficulties Angola is now facing. Oil production has a long history in the country. During the country’s 27-year-long civil war, which ended in 2002, the oil sector continued to thrive even as infrastructure and human resources were devastated. Furthermore, after the end of the civil war, new deep-water discoveries helped transform Angola into the second largest petroleum producer on the continent. The role of […]

Chevron: Production started at shared African oil field

4 Nov 2015   Angola, Congo

 Chevron said the development of oil reserves straddling the maritime border of the Republics of Congo and Angola could serve as a model for Africa. Chevron’s subsidiary in the region announced it started oil and gas production from the Lianzi field in a unified offshore economic zone straddling the borders of Congo and Angola. The project is the first in the region to start operations for Chevron and the first cross-border development in Africa. “As the first offshore energy development spanning national boundaries in the Central Africa region, Lianzi represents a unique cooperative approach to share offshore resources and may serve as a model for the development of similar cross-border […]

Angola: Why Luanda’s Residents Are Asking – Where Did All the Oil Riches Go?

30 Oct 2015   Angola

A few years ago, Luanda, the capital of Angola, was on every ambitious investor’s lips . With large infrastructure and housing projects rapidly changing its appearance, the city seemed to be leaving behind the country’s 27-year civil war. But hopes for renewal are slowly dissipating as the price of the commodity on which Angola’s future was being constructed – oil – steadily declines. Angola is Africa’s second-largest oil producer. It is one of the countries that have been hardest hit by the fall in oil prices. The oil crash forced Angola to slash its 2015 budget by US$17 billion (a 25% reduction ). Construction companies are having difficulties paying their workers, and the Angolan central bank has devalued the currency , the kwanza. Construction threatens to screech to a halt. The fantasy built on oil is crumbling, showing that its benefits were barely felt outside privileged sites of elite […]

China returns to play larger role in Angolan November crude program

20 Oct 2015   Angola, China

China has returned to be the main buyer for Angola’s November crude program, data from Platts shows, contrasting with the previous trading cycle, when more barrels headed to European refineries and the US. “Asia took more and Europe and the US took less in November,” an Angolan crude trader said. “It’s a role reversal from the previous month.” Angolan crude is heavily dependent on China, with 40%-60% of Angolan crude exports typically going there every month. Unipec, the trading arm of Chinese state-owned Sinopec, is by far the largest buyer of Angolan crude, often buying 35%-40% of the monthly export program. Article continues below… Oilgram News brings you fast-breaking global petroleum and gas news on and including: Industry players, upstream and downstream markets, refineries, midstream transportation and financial reports Supply and demand trends, government actions, exploration and technology Daily futures summary Weekly API statistics, and much more However, during […]

Angolan Government Cuts Spending by 50% as Oil Revenue Plunges

16 Oct 2015   Angola

The government of Angola, sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest crude producer, cut spending by half this year following a plunge in oil prices, Vice President Manuel Vicente said. Public investment was reduced by 53 percent, Vicente told lawmakers in a state-of-the-nation address on Thursday in the capital, Luanda. He delivered the speech in the absence of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, 73, who was “indisposed,” according to parliamentary Speaker Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos. Oil accounts for about two-thirds of fiscal revenue in Angola, putting the nation at risk after crude prices more than halved since June last year. The central bank devalued the currency twice this year and raised the benchmark interest rate four times in response, while the government has sought funding from the World Bank and China to help cushion […]

Angola to Ship Most Crude in Four Years to Meet Asian Demand

19 Aug 2015   Angola

Angola will export the most crude in almost four years in October as the OPEC member satisfies Asian demand and offsets diminished revenue from lower oil prices. Africa’s second-largest producer plans to ship 1.83 million barrels a day in October, the most since November 2011, according to a preliminary loading program obtained by Bloomberg. This compares with 1.77 million barrels a day in September. Angola slashed its budget by a quarter in response to the slump in crude prices, which have lost more than 50 percent in the past year. The African nation’s bid to recapture revenues is supported by demand in China, the world’s second-biggest oil-consumer, which imported near-record levels of crude in July. “Angola continues to profit mainly from Chinese demand, in addition to some demand from India and Indonesia,” said Ehsan Ul-Haq, an analyst at KBC Economics in London. The single biggest increase will be in […]

Angola’s Credit Outlook Cut to Negative by S&P on Oil Price Drop

15 Aug 2015   Angola

Angola’s credit-rating outlook was cut to negative by Standard & Poor’s, which predicted the country’s fiscal deficit will widen in the face of lower oil prices. S&P affirmed Angola’s B+ rating, four steps below investment grade, the company said in a statement on Friday. “The negative outlook indicates that we could lower our long-term rating on Angola if the country’s external or fiscal positions continue to deteriorate over the next year,” S&P said. Angola, Africa’s largest crude producer after Nigeria, relies on the fuel to generate about 70 percent of taxes and 95 percent of export income. As the price of oil plunged more than 50 percent in the past 12 months, the government slashed this year’s budget by a quarter, cut fuel subsidies and froze hiring. Government spending accounted for more than a third of Angola’s $129 billion gross domestic product in 2014.

Report: Cuba may get oil help from Angola

22 Jul 2015   Angola, Cuba

Cuba expects to kick start its deepwater oil exploration activity with assistance from Angola’s state-run energy company Sonangol, a Cuban official said. Cuba is opening its doors more for Western powers after a long Cold War policy of isolation from the United States. The country in the past worked to cut the amount of oil it imports from Venezuela through development of its own offshore reserves. An unnamed official from Cuba’s Cubapetroleo, or Cupet, told energy reporting service Argus the preliminary deal with Sonangol outlines drilling schedules. “The matters to be determined include which of the blocks contracted by Sonangol will be drilled, the sourcing of a rig and the timing of the start of the work,” the official said. The U.S. Geological Survey, which reviewed […]

Total reaches production milestone in Angola

28 May 2015   Angola

With 2 billion barrels of cumulative production from an offshore block in Angola, French energy company Total said Wednesday it set the global gold standard. Total announced it reached the milestone at its offshore Block 17 reserve area, located about 90 miles off the coast of Angola in deep waters. “Block 17 is a global benchmark in the deep offshore and represents a unique industrial adventure, with 15 discoveries and a very high level of production,” Arnaud Breuillac, Total’s president of exploration and production,” said in a statement. With more than 700,000 barrels of oil equivalent in production at the start of 2015, the French energy company said it’s the lead operator in Angola. Apart from Block 17, the company holds a 30 percent stake in […]

Angola Must Raise Taxes, Cut Fuel Subsidy as Oil Falls, IMF Says

7 Feb 2015   Angola

Angola should raise taxes and eliminate fuel subsidies to help offset plummeting revenue as oil prices plunge, the International Monetary Fund said. “First, get taxes up,” Nicholas Staines, the IMF’s resident representative in Angola, said in a presentation in Luanda, the capital, on Thursday. “I absolutely love taxes. It’s how a state runs. Without taxes, no state.” Oil prices have slumped by more than half since June, cutting revenue in Angola, where crude accounts for almost all of exports and more than two thirds of government income. Authorities have slashed the oil price estimate in the 2015 budget to $40 a barrel from $81 a barrel and are due to publish a revised spending plan next month. Budget revenue will probably drop by $17 billion and oil exports fall by $27 billion based on a $45 a barrel oil price and 2014 average production of 1.66 million […]

Statoil Takes $350M Hit on Angola Exploration Halt

24 Nov 2014   Angola

Norway’s Statoil is halting exploration in Angola after poor drilling results, retreating from an offshore area it had high hopes for and capping a poor year for exploration. OSLO, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Norway’s Statoil said on Friday it was halting exploration in Angola after poor drilling results, retreating from an offshore area it had high hopes for and capping a poor year for exploration. Statoil said it was cancelling a three-year contract with Stena Drilling, handing back a drilling ship two years early and taking a $350 million charge in the fourth quarter related to the contract, the drilling and the value of the Angolan blocks. Statoil had high hopes for Angola’s offshore pre-salt blocks 38 and 39 because the geology is similar to Brazil’s, where major oil discoveries have been made in similar rocks. “Statoil’s first well results from the area have been disappointing and although the […]

Angola Delaying Increase in Oil Output to 2017 From 2015

7 Oct 2014   Angola

Angola, Africa ’s biggest oil producer after Nigeria, plans to increase output to 2 million barrels a day by 2017, according to Finance Minister Armando Manuel. That would be two years behind an earlier target. Angola will budget next year for oil prices from $88 to $92 a barrel, said Manuel, who is urging the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to take steps to avoid more declines. Brent is down 16 percent this year in London, the most since a 51 percent drop in 2008. Manuel’s comments in an interview in Washington D.C. yesterday indicate a delay in meeting a target expressed repeatedly by Petroleum Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos. He has said the goal of 2 million barrels a day will be reached in 2015, helped by projects including Eni SpA’s West Hub in Block 15/06, which is scheduled to begin this year. “Although we face a […]

Eni makes major oil discovery offshore Angola

18 Sep 2014   Angola

Eni SPA has made an oil discovery on Block 15/06 in the Ochigufu exploration prospect offshore Angola. It is the 10th commercial oil discovery for the block, and is estimated to hold 300 million bbl of oil in place. The Ochigufu 1 NFW well was directionally drilled by the Ocean Rig Poseidon drilling unit in 1,337 m of water, reaching a total depth of 4,470 m. Eni says it found 47 m of proved net oil pay of 34° gravity in the Lower Miocene and Oligocene sandstones. Data acquired in Ochigufu 1 indicate a production capacity of more than 5,000 b/d of oil. Studies are under way to evaluate an early tie-in to the 100,000-b/d Ngoma floating production, storage, and offloading vessel that lies in the nearby West Hub oil development project, which would enable Ochigufu 1 to be “brought into production in record time,” the company says. Separately, […]

Angolan oil flow seen above 2 million b/d

21 Aug 2014   Angola

Angola will produce 2.1-2.2 million b/d of crude oil by 2016, predicts Moody’s Investors Service. In a credit analysis of the Angolan government, Moody’s cited deepwater projects due on stream soon in the Lower Congo basin and the government’s plans to offer deep and ultradeepwater blocks to international operators next year in the southern Kwanza basin and unexplored Namibe basin. The Kwanza basin, Moody’s points out, has presalt geology similar to that of Brazil’s Campos and Santos basins ( OGJ Online, Dec. 11, 2011 ). Important to the imminent production gain is Total SA’s Kaombo project in 1,400-1,900 m of water in the Lower Congo basin. Total and its partners decided to proceed with the $16-billion development in April ( OGJ Online, Apr. 14, 2014 ). That decision, Moody’s said, boosts Angola’s production prospects. “First, it signals investors’ positive assessment of Angola’s long-term offshore prospects, […]

Angola’s Goal to Rival Nigerian Oil Output Aided by Eni

23 Jul 2014   Angola, Nigeria

Eni SpA (ENI) crews in Angola, Africa ’s second-largest crude oil producer, upgraded a production vessel for new pumping this year as the southwest African country targets output rivaling its bigger competitor, Nigeria. Eni plans to start production within five months as operator of Block 15-06’s West Hub fields, estimated to hold reserves of 200 million barrels, and boost flows to 80,000 barrels a day, documents on the Rome-based company’s website show. The block’s East Hub development is due to pump about 49,000 barrels a day after starting in 2016, the documents say. The block, 350 kilometers (217 miles) northwest of Luanda, the capital, is one of eight offshore projects Petroleum Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos is counting on to help raise production to 2 million barrels a day by next year from 1.66 million last month. That compares with Nigeria’s 2.15 million barrels daily. One of the […]

Angola May Miss 2015 Oil-Output Target

7 May 2014   Angola

Angola, Africa ’s second-biggest oil producer, probably won’t reach an output target of 2 million barrels a day next year because new projects will be too late to boost declining flows, Wood Mackenzie Ltd. said. Sonangol EP, the state oil company, said in a statement May 5 that the target remains in place after government-run newspaper Jornal de Angola reported that the goal was deferred to 2017. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries member pumped 1.54 million barrels a day last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “I don’t think 2 million barrels a day by next year is realistic,” David Thomson , a Wood Mackenzie analyst in Edinburgh, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “I am confident it will happen, but toward the end of the decade.” Total SA’s CLOV fields in Block 17 and Eni SpA’s Western Hub in Block 15/06 are expected to start […]

Massive oil discovery claimed offshore Angola

2 May 2014   Angola

Early results from a program off the coast of Angola show there may be as much as 700 million barrels of oil in the region, Cobalt International Energy said. Cobalt, through a partnership with national and international energy companies, released results from its Orca-1 pre-salt deepwater exploration well off the coast of Angola. The company said it tested the well at a rate of 3,700 barrels of oil and 16.3 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The company, which has headquarters in Houston, said the results show this may be the largest oil discovery every found in the Kwanza basin off the coast of Angola. “Cobalt’s post drill estimates indicate a resource range of between 400 and 700 million barrels of oil,” . Cobalt Chief Executive Officer Joseph Bryant said the field may be the “most significant oil discovery” ever made in […]

Angolan oil will peak in 2016, IMF says

26 Mar 2014   Angola

Economic growth in Angola will slow in 2017 as oil output declines, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The economy is forecast to expand by 5.3 percent this year, and by 5.5 percent and 5.9 percent in the following two years before the rate slows to 3.3 percent in 2017, IMF figures show. Crude oil production in Africa’s second-largest producer is set to decline to 1.77 million barrels a day in 2017 from 1.9 million barrels a day in 2016. “This reflects the expectation that oil production from currently known reserves will peak and then start to fall,” Nicholas Staines, the IMF representative in Angola, said last week. “The timing of this turnaround could well be pushed back as new reserves are discovered.” Angola produced 1.69 million barrels of oil a day last month. The country is attempting to diversify its economy away from oil, which accounts for […]

Owner of Missing Oil Tanker Disputes Angolan Claims of Fake Highjacking

28 Jan 2014   Angola

The Greek owner of an oil tanker that vanished off the coast of Angola said pirates hijacked the vessel and stole much of its cargo. Athens-based Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd., said late Sunday in a statement that it had re-established contact with the 75,000-tonne MT Kerala. The Liberian-flagged ship vanished Jan. 18, raising concerns in the industry that piracy in West Africa is spreading south from the Gulf of Guinea toward Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer. The vessel was on charter to Angolan state oil firm Sonangol. “Pirates hijacked the vessel offshore Angola and stole a large quantity of cargo by ship-to-ship transfer. The pirates have now disembarked,” the statement said, adding that the ship’s 27-member crew was safe. Angola’s navy has said the hijacking was staged. The tanker “cut off its communication system while at the entrance of the Luanda bay and followed a tugboat to Nigeria,” […]