Angolan government liberalises oil refinery sector

5 October 2009

Luanda, Angola, 5 Oct – The Angolan government Wednesday approved the liberalisation of the oil refinery sector, putting an end to the monopoly of the state oil company Sonangol, which manages the country’s only refinery, to the north of Luanda.

According to a statement from the Council of Ministers, the government also approved the liberalisation of oil sector storage, transport and distribution, areas that are also controlled by Sonangol, although in distribution the Angolan operator has Portugal’s Galp Energia as a partner, in Sonangalp.

This decision emerges at a timer when the Angolan state is preparing to launch, in 2012, a second refinery in the country, located in Lobito, Benguela province, with and estimated investment of around US$8 billion.

For Zaire, in the Soyo region, a third refinery is due to be built, although there is no schedule for its construction.

The current refinery in Luanda has the capacity to refine 35,000 barrels of oil per day, which is far below the needs of the market, leading the country to import around 90 percent of the refined fuels it consumes.

Each of the two units outlined for Benguela and Zaire is expected to have capacity to refine around 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Angola is currently the biggest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, with potential production of 2 million barrels per day, although quotas set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have led to production of around 1.7 million barrels per day. (macauhub)