Angolan state oil company Sonangol and the Total group plan to collaborate on the “revival of the oil industry, both downstream and upstream,” under several partnership agreements signed on Monday in Luanda by the concessionaire and the French multinational.
Angolan state news agency Angop reported that the agreements would be the basis to launch exploration of Block 48, in ultra-deep waters, six years after completion of the last blocks that Angola put up for auction.
“We have been working with the same blocks for six years, and there has been no prospecting, and therefore launching this activity is extremely important,” said the Sonangola chairman, Carlos Saturnino, at the end of the session to sign the agreements with the chief executive of Total, Patrick Pauyowné.
The activities to be carried out upstream of Block 17 include development and start of production of some assets identified and discovered a few years ago, and downstream a 50/50 company will be created to distribute refined products, also with the possibility of importing refined products, when the market is liberalised.
Pauyowné said that the oil industry has “suffered hugely with low crude prices,” but added that, with the current price slightly above US$60 per barrel, there is an opportunity for a new impetus in the industry, particularly in Angola.
The Total group has been in Angola since 1952/53 when it was awarded its first concession, and has estimated production of 600,000 barrels per day, making it the market leader.
The group is the operator of Block 32, with 30%, in partnership with Sonangol P&P (30%), while in Block 17 it has a stake of 40%, and has four FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading units) and 1,700 employees. (macauhub)