Angola: Angolan oil production drops due to accident in Cabinda

16 October 2008

Luanda, Angola, 16 Oct – Angolan oil production fell to around 1.6 to 1.7 million barrels per day, below the maximum 2 million barrels produced at the beginning of the year, Angola’s Oil Minister, José Vasconcelos announced.

The fall in production is due to an accident in the deep waters of Block 18, off the coast of Cabinda.

“There was a problem in August in one of the oil fields of Block 18. There was an accident on that platform, but production was re-launched two days ago,” said the Angolan minister, cited by Exame.

Vasconcelos said that the government’s priority was to develop the natural gas sector in the southeast of Angola.

“The Oil ministry has several portfolios in this area, and will approve laws and regulations for gas, in order for Angola to become an operator in this sector,” he said.

The government plans to promote construction of an oil refinery in the Lobito region, to the south of Luanda, which is expected to produce 200,000 barrels per day.

Angola already ahs a refinery that produces 39,000 barrels of fuel per day, which is not enough to meet domestic demand.

Chevron, which is responsible for production of over a quarter of Angola’s oil, is building an offshore platform for gas production in Luanda.

However, Vasconcelos declined to give further information about gas reserves.

Oil has been the driver of Angola’s economic growth since the end of the country’s civil war, in 2002.(macauhub)