A dedicated country spotlight featured the participation of key players in Angola’s energy sector during the 2023 edition of AEW, offering stakeholders a unique insight into the growing market.
The 2023 edition of the biggest gathering of energy stakeholders and policymakers on the continent, African Energy Week (AEW) – organized by the African Energy Chamber – featured a country spotlight roundtable on Angola, showcasing the country’s abundant reserves and favorable business environment.
Kicking off the session, heavy weights from Angola’s oil and gas sector, including representatives from the country’s National Oil Company (NOC), Sonangol; independent regulatory agency, the National Agency for Petroleum Gas and Biofuels (ANPG); and integrated energy company, Etu Energias, provided keynote speeches, showcasing the immense potential of the country’s oil and gas play.
“We are a petro-mature country and started producing first oil around 1960,” stated Belarmino Chitangueleca, Executive Director of the ANPG, adding, “Our challenge through the milestones resulted in the production of 2 million barrels of oil per day, which was a result of commitment, investment, and also adjusting legal frameworks and regulations, which have enabled business in Angola.”
Chitangueleca went on to reiterate the national concessionaire’s licensing of 12 onshore blocks in Angola’s Lower Congo Basin and invited independents and small companies to participate in the country’s burgeoning oil and gas industry.
“Angola is open for business. It has a friendly business environment. We respect the sanctity of the contracts that we sign. And these have been the bedrock of Angola as a powerhouse in oil,” stated Osvaldo Inácio, Executive Board Member at Sonangol.
“We are driving new energy in Angola, and we want to expand throughout Africa,” stated Edson dos Santos, CEO for Etu Energias, adding, “Believe in Angola. Not many countries in the world can offer you on- and offshore assets. We have solar power, hydroelectric opportunities, Angola offers the full package in terms of energy.”
Meanwhile, representatives from private energy companies including oil and gas supermajors, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Azule Energy provided their expertise in the country’s energy sector.
“What we’re doing is going to provide fuel, expand electricity generation and make it more accessible to schools, homes, and medical facilities and will go on to drive human progress. Moreover, exploration and production will enable future projects and companies to come in in other sectors,” stated Billy Lacobie, Managing Director of the Southern Africa Strategic Business Unit at Chevron.
Following the launch of its 2023 Licensing Round in March, offering 12 blocks in the Lower Congo and Kwanza onshore basins, the ANPG serves a crucial role in managing Angola’s resources, overseeing partnerships with international oil companies and ensuring optimal utilization of hydrocarbon resources. Their involvement provides investors with confidence in the security of their investments and collaborative efforts to maximize output and returns.
“Working in partnership with Angola, going into frontier regions, we know, before we drill, that Angola has everything we need to go in and get things done,” stated Jeff Weidner, Development Manager for Esso Exploration Angola Limited at ExxonMobil.
Meanwhile, Angola’s strategic geographical position, ongoing infrastructure advancements, local content initiatives, and rapidly expanding market, represents an enticing investment opportunity for regional and global players.
“Angola’s mature fields offer huge opportunities,” stated Ian Cloke, Chief Operating Officer for independent oil and gas company, Afentra, adding, “I applaud the way Angola has approached the environment through the extensive offering of licenses, its issuance of regular rounds, and engaging with the industry to see what is needed to invest.”
Investments in critical infrastructure, including updated ports, pipelines, refineries, and storage facilities, have bolstered Angola’s oil and gas industry. These advancements improve operational efficiency, reduce transportation costs, and increase profitability for investors. With projects such as the Luanda, Soyo, Cabinda, and Lobito refineries currently well in development, Angola is positioning itself as a regional hub for energy production, offering an appealing and financially rewarding investment climate.
“There won’t be a transition without energy and industrialization, and we would welcome your interest in investing in our refineries and storage facilities,” Inácio stated, adding that, “As an NOC, we have an additional responsibility in the mid- and downstream segments of the industry.”
Meanwhile, the country’s pioneer Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, Angola LNG, has positioned Angola as a highly attractive gas play, with new upstream developments promising an increase in LNG production and export.
“The environment is improving because the Ministry and the Agency are trying to understand what the investor needs in order to invest more. Partnering with Sonangol in low-carbon opportunities is very important for Angola,” stated Adriano Mongini, CEO of Azule Energy.
Angola boasts substantial oil reserves of 9 billion barrels and natural gas reserves of 11 trillion cubic feet, supporting a stable foundation for lucrative returns. The country’s high production rates – reaching approximately 1.06 million barrels of oil per day and 17,904.5 million cubic feet of natural gas in May 2023, ensure stability and ongoing revenue generation. Moreover, Angola’s strategic plans for development and underexplored areas like the Kwanza and Namibe Basins further enhance its status as a global frontier in energy exploration.
“There is a space now, as these basins mature, there are tremendous opportunities for small- to mid-sized companies to come in, join as a partner, and help mitigate production decline,” concluded dos Santos.
Meanwhile, on the renewables front, the panel noted that Angola has made significant strides through the Angola Renewable Energy Program, implemented from 2019 to 2022. This program focused on solar energy and hydropower, contributing to an increase in the national electrification rate from 33% in 2017 to 43% in 2021 and raising the renewable energy component of the energy mix from 59% to 64%. The country’s stated goal is to quadruple renewable energy production – with a specific emphasis on solar energy – from 125 MWh to 500 MWh.
Sponsored by the ANPG, Sonangol, Etu Energies, and Azule Energy, the Invest in Angola Energies country spotlight provided a multifaceted platform for investors and industry leaders to gain crucial insights into the evolving market and its associated opportunities.
#AEW2023 takes place this week in Cape Town under a mandate to make energy poverty history by 2030. Keep following www.aecweek.com for more exciting information and updates about Africa’s premier energy event.