Oil exploration of pre-salt layer is historical moment for Angola

26 January 2011

Luanda, Angola, 26 Jan – The director for negotiations of Sonangol, Carlos Saturnino, said Monday in Luanda that the announcement of the start of exploration of the pre-salt layer oil wells was a historical moment for the Angolan oil industry.

According to Saturnino, surveying and exploration of the 13 blocks will involve unheard of financial, human and technological resources in Angola. He noted that a comparison could be made with the pre-salt layer oil in Brazil, which involves large oil fields in the Santos basin.

In order to choose companies for the exploration, Sonangol launched a limited tender, and chose as operators for block 19 British Petroleum Angola (BP), with a 50 percent stake, for block 20 Cobalt International Energy (40 percent), for block 22 Repsol (30 percent), for block 24 BP (50 percent) and for block 25 Total Angola (35 percent).

ENI Angola (30 percent) was chosen to operate block 35, for blocks 36 and 37 ConocoPhilips (30 percent), for 38 and 39 Statoil ASA (40 percent) and for 40 Total Angola (35 percent).

The jury for the tender selected Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção to be part of the contracted groups for all the blocks and China Sonangol for blocks 19, 20, 36 and 38, amongst other companies.

The pre-salt layer is a layer of sedimentary rocks that formed in special paleogeographical conditions in the South Atlantic. It is present off the Angolan coast between 2,000 and 5,000 metres below sea level, and has a high potential for storing hydrocarbons. (macauhub)