Angola’s upstream and downstream industries were positioned as a means of energy security and diversification at the Angola Oil&Gas (AOG) 2023 conference (https://apo-opa.info/3PTENZ0) on Wednesday, which featured plenary addresses from Sonangol, the Oil Derivatives Regulatory Institute (IRDP), bp, Gemcorp Capital, the Association of Exploration and Production Companies in Angola (ACEPA) and the Association of Angolan Petroleum Service Companies (AECIPA).
Having led efforts to liberalize Angola’s downstream industry and engage private players in the sector, Director General of the IRDP, Dr. Luís Fernandes, outlined current projects aimed at improving the refining, storage, distribution and commercialization of oil and gas products and ensuring fuel access at an affordable price.
“Despite Angola being an exporter of crude oil, natural gas and LNG, our refineries contribute a marginal percent of refined petroleum products, with 68% obtained by importation,” stated Fernandes. “To assure our sustainability in the short-to-medium term, there are three refinery projects – namely, the Cabinda, Soyo and Lobito refineries. On the storage of liquid fuel, the country currently has a capacity of 675,968 cubic meters, with projects underway to increase capacity. We invite investors and existing operators to invest and develop the logistics activity, distribution and commercialization of petroleum derivatives in Angola.”
National oil company Sonangol – which has undergone an ambitious transformation over recent years to become a more integrated and competitive energy company – echoed the importance of increasing domestic refining capacity in ensuring the sustainability of Angola’s energy sector.
“We are constructing new refineries, which will increase our processing capacity to more than 400,000 bpd, with the purpose of reducing dependence on derivatives from abroad,” said Joaquim Fernandes, Executive Administrator of Sonangol. “Sonangol is motivated to achieve solid results, efficiency and operational excellence. Together, we can energize tomorrow, catalyze change and build a brilliant future sustainable for Angola, Africa and the world.”
Providing an update on the Cabinda refinery – whose first phase of 30,000 bpd is slated to come online in December 2024 – Atanas Bostandjiev, Founder and Chairman for Gemcorp Capital, stated: “We are proud investors, together with our partners at Sonangol, to be building and operating the first oil refinery in Angola since the liberation. This investment is playing a critical role in Angola’s energy security, while furthering the nation’s technological capabilities. What we are doing here in Angola – no one else has dared to do.”
Leading IOCs in the country highlighted their long-standing commitments to Angola’s exploration and production scene, as well as the ongoing role that oil and gas will play in attaining energy security in Angola and across the continent.
“As the largest independent oil and gas producer in Angola, Azule Energy is producing well over 200,000 barrels of oil and gas equivalent per day and has two projects approved and under development: Agogo and the New Gas Consortium (NGC). We are investing up to two billion dollars per year in the Angolan economy and exploring a rich portfolio of potential future opportunities in oil and gas in Angola,” said Gordon Birrell, Executive Vice President for Production and Operations at bp, which launched Azule Energy as a 50/50 joint venture with Eni in August 2022.
“From Exxon’s Bavuca South-1 discovery in Block 15 last year…to the NGC led by Azule Energy to develop non-associated gas in the Lower Congo Basin… to a new phase of exploration activity in the Namibe Basin where Exxon is planning to drill the first well next year, ACEPA companies are continuing to find and develop important oil and gas resources in Angola,” said Melissa Bond, President of ACEPA and Lead Country Manager for ExxonMobil in Angola. “In the case of Africa, the oil and gas industry will continue to play an important role and will be needed for decades to come.”
Concluding the plenary addresses with a remark on local value creation and responsible resource management, Bráulio de Brito, President of AECIPA, stated: “The countries that are rich in natural resources tend to have slow economic growth and more social problems than the others that don’t have these resources. Yet if the resources are used wisely, they bring prosperity, development and growth for current and future generations.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital&Power.