Players Flock to Angola to Mirror Current Upstream Success
What separates Angola from other resource-rich nations is the government’s ongoing commitment to expand its upstream market, putting in place investment-friendly and attractive fiscal terms and ensuring investors reap the highest rewards on their investments. The country’s enabling environment stems from several reforms put in place over recent years including the establishment of the National Agency for Oil, Gas and Biofuels – Angola’s national regulator tasked with implementing government policy and promoting bid rounds and exploration activity; the implementation of the Private Investment Law in 2018 – which provides investors with improved clarity and fiscal terms; the launch of a six-year licensing round in 2019; and the launch of a revised Hydrocarbon Exploration Strategy 2020-2025 – expected to mobilize upwards of $850 million.
With a reliable partner in the national oil company, Sonangol, already, these reforms have triggered success after success with the latest bid round – offering eight offshore blocks in the Lower Congo and Kwanza Basins – seeing bid proposals by the likes of Eni, TotalEnergies, Equinor, bp and more, with up to $58.6 million in initial investment commitments expected from the round alone. Additionally, ExxonMobil made a sizable hydrocarbon discovery in Block 15 offshore Angola earlier this month while the market has seen the entrance of new players such as independent oil and gas company, Afentra. And these are just the start, with the country’s official energy conference – Angola Oil & Gas (AOG), taking place from November 29-December 1 this year in Luanda – set to open up the upstream market even further as investors and players are connected.
Infrastructure Developments Connect the Region to Angola
However, the strength and attractiveness of Angola as an investment destination extends beyond the upstream, with the country’s renewed focus on the development of the entire energy value chain set to open up new opportunities across both the country and wider region’s energy spectrum. Domestically, dedication to improving the country’s refining capacity has seen the launch of three new refinery developments, thereby triggering new interest in Angola’s mid- and downstream investment opportunities. From these refineries, opportunities have opened across the distribution, manufacturing and retail sectors, with even further prospects of integrating oil and gas with sub-sectors such as mining, agriculture and petrochemicals making a strong case for investment.
Meanwhile, investing in Angola’s energy sector places the country on a positive trajectory towards becoming a regional hub. In addition to strengthening energy security and access domestically, investing across the Angolan energy value chain will allow regional countries to tap into Angolan supplies, with the country set to leverage already established regional networks to kickstart a new era of industrialization, energy access and socioeconomic growth across Southern Africa.
Networks such as the Southern African Development Community; the recently launched Central African Pipeline System; and bilateral agreement forged between Angola and regional neighbors including Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal will be key in scaling up regional cooperation. As such, Angola’s regional emergence is accelerating and the AOG 2022 conference is set to further define and promote this role.
During the event, a dedicated regional emergence panel will make clear the role Angola is set to play as a regional energy hub, while promoting the country’s investment opportunities spanning the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. As Angola enters into a new era of hydrocarbon growth on the back of new participation and investment, AOG 2022 represents the official platform where regional actors can partner and connect with this evolving regional hub.