Africa Monitor

Africa Monitor Intelligence

Angola: From Medium to Small Oil Producer Within 10 Years

The oil companies operating in Angola have been announcing to the Government the intention of not making new investments in offshore oil prospecting/ production (deep waters), committing themselves only to other past projects. In general, they consider that the high depletion rates at which are deposits in operation would make new investments uneconomic.
The Oil and Gas Exploration Strategy 2020-2025 (EEPG), recently approved by the Government, foresees the identification of reserves of 40-57 billion barrels of oil, more than 5 times the reserves currently identified, and 17,5-27 trillion cubic feet of gas. Confirming independent forecasts of rapid decline in production from the current wells, the projections of the National Oil and Gas Agency (ANPG) highlight the urgency of efforts to develop marginal areas and new blocks (AM 1259).
According to the EEPG, whose forecasts regarding the level of production in the next decade are significantly more optimistic than the most recent in the oil sector, the failure to identify reserves in recent years has made the current situation “critical”. The EEPG forecast predates the suspension of almost all research activities registered between MAY.-JUN.2020, partly raised from the second half of the year, thanks to the recent Brent price recovery (AM 1259).
On-shore oil production, another element that the authorities say is countering the decline of deep-water exploration, is considered “illusory” in the international oil sector. Oil production on the Cabinda onshore, limited to one block in the S of the territory (the one in the N paralyzed) does not exceed 5,000 bpd. Official expectations regarding the potential of the Cuanza basin are also considered “unrealistic”.
The mining sector in Angola is considered to be one of those that has conditions to compensate for the continued devaluation of oil as a major natural resource in the country. Agriculture, including agro-industry, is the other. Among large international mining companies (Rio Tinto, Anglo American, De Beers and others), it is therefore considered “unusual” the slow opening of the sector to foreign investment - the only one capable of developing it. READ MORE