ExxonMobil’s Project Portfolio, Commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to Bolster Growth in Angola

ExxonMobil’s Project Portfolio, Commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to Bolster Growth in Angola

ExxonMobil’s Project Portfolio, Commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to Bolster Growth in Angola
ExxonMobil’s Project Portfolio, Commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to Bolster Growth in Angola

African Energy Chamber

ExxonMobil could inject as much as $15 billion into the development of Angola’s hydrocarbon reserves by 2030, following the success of commercial oil discoveries in the southern African country. The energy major is developing a series of large-scale projects and is committed to supporting community development through capacity building and outreach programs aimed at improving STEM-related opportunities. These endeavors are poised to strengthen the Angolan oil and gas industry while bolstering industrialization and broader economic growth.

This week, the African Energy Chamber – led by Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk – met with company leaders from ExxonMobil as part of a working visit to the country. During the meeting, the parties discussed the government’s efforts in opening up the sector and how fiscal policies have made doing business in Angola that much more competitive. ExxonMobil – celebrating 30 years of operations in Angola – has been at the forefront of many large-scale developments in the country, and the major’s renewed focus on infrastructure-led exploration; local content development; and investments in STEM will unlock new opportunities for the country. 

ExxonMobil’s rich production history in Angola underscores both the country’s oil and gas potential and the company’s commitment to spurring development in Africa. Considered a golden block, the company’s deepwater Block 15 in Angola represents one of the most successful offshore concessions in the region, with 18 commercial discoveries made. Producing for 20 years, the block hit a milestone of 2.5 billion barrels of cumulative oil production in 2023. This year, ExxonMobil made an oil discovery at the Likember-01 research well in the block. The operation, which took place in the Kizomba B development area, revealed the existence of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sand packages. The find follows a discovery made in 2022 at the Bavuca South-1 exploration well in Block 15, which formed part of a redevelopment plan to deliver 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) of new oil production.  

The development area is operated by ExxonMobil and developed in partnership with Angola’s state-owned Sonangol and international energy companies Equinor and Azule Energy. The Likembe-01 well is the first to be drilled as part of a broader incremental production initiative, which is spearheaded by Angola’s national concessionaire, the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency and aims to increase output at already-producing concessions in the country. ExxonMobil also has an 20% participating interest in Block 17, a 15% participating interest in Block 32 and continues to operate Blocks 30, 44 and 45 in the Namib Basin, offshore Angola, with a 60% participating interest in the three blocks. This month, ExxonMobil surpassed a production level of 200,000 bpd. This represents significant materiality, a key condition for establishing Angola as a competitive oil province as well as positioning the country as a top performer in the company’s global portfolio.

Going forward, the company is committed to drilling in the Namibe basin, with plans to invest $200 million to drill an offshore frontier exploration well by the end of 2024 in partnership with Sonangol. The campaign aims to uncover new oil and gas reserves in Angola’s underexplored acreage and, if successful, the supermajor could inject as much as $15 billion into the development of the basin by 2030. The development of a large commercial discovery is poised to result in revenue of between $20 billion and $40 billion for the country, which will serve to promote socioeconomic development, economic diversification and local content and community advancement.

“ExxonMobil’s investment in Angola continues to grow because of the enabling environment that the government continues to create for the industry. The government is making sure that the country remains competitive – especially in terms of fiscals – and is significantly improving market attractiveness for companies. This enables world-class project developments and the AEC commends the government for laying this strong foundation,” stated Ayuk.

Apart from oil and gas development, ExxonMobil is a strong advocate for STEM-related education in Angola. The company is committed to advancing opportunities for Angolan people in this area and strives to address challenges related to STEM education in the country. Specifically, the company aims to create opportunities for girls and women in STEM. During the AEC-ExxonMobil meeting, the parties discussed the critical role investments in STEM play in the country and how the company is spearheading efforts to promote education. Additionally, the parties outlined the vital role of women in the energy sector. For its part, ExxonMobil has been at the forefront of promoting gender equality in the industry. Industry leaders such as Melissa Bond, former Country Manager for Angola at ExxonMobil, and Katrina Fisher, Lead Country Manager/Managing Director for Angola at ExxonMobil, have championed these endeavors. During the upcoming AEW: Invest in African Energy conference this November (4-8), the AEC aims to bring women in energy and STEM discussions to the main stage, highlighting the importance of these topics.

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil has been outspoken in its philanthropic efforts in Angola. In May, ExxonMobil and the National Basketball Association (NBA) Africa announced the launch of a new Jr. NBA League in Luanda. The new league will feature 40 boys’ and girls’ teams for youths in the country aged 16 and under. The league is set to reach as many as 10,000 youth participants in 2024. The league will culminate with the playoffs and finals in September this year and will feature all-girls basketball clinics as part of the NBA’s Her Time to Play initiative – providing opportunities for girls to play the game and pursue careers in coaching and athletic leadership.

“The AEC commends the progress ExxonMobil continues to make in promoting women in energy, STEM-related education and economic growth in Angola. The company has been a champion of these critical issues and the AEC looks forward to working closely with the company to support the next generation of oil, gas and science in Africa,” concluded Ayuk.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.