Angola’s state-owned oil firm Sonangol has announced that it will award exploration rights to its onshore prospects by December this year
Angola will award a total of 10 contracts. Out of those, seven contracts will be for blocks in the Kwanza River basin and another three in the Congo River basin. Angola is thought to have reserves of around 10.4bn barrels of crude oil, about half of which are located in the Kwanza and Congo River basins. Sonangol had said last year that the 10 blocks may hold reserves of 700,000 barrels of oil each, on average.
Many international oil companies, including Chevron, Eni, Portugal’s Galp Energia and Colombia’s Ecopetrol, have expressed an interest in Angola’s onshore concessions. Commodities trader Glencore is another company that is keen to win onshore exploration rights in the African country.
Angola is currently the second biggest crude oil producer in Africa, after Nigeria, and the 16th biggest in the world. It pumps approximately 1.7mn bpd but has a small domestic refining capacity of 39,000 bpd only. Angola is a member of OPEC and a significant majority of its oil production is exported to international markets, which amounted to about US$57bn last year.