As the second-largest oil producing country in sub-Saharan Africa, an OPEC member since 2007, and with an output of approximately 1.3 million barrels of oil per day (bpd), Angola’s impressive economic growth rate in recent years has been spurred by its oil and gas industry. The country hosts several of the world’s oil and gas supermajors, such as TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil, BP, and Eni, operating primarily in the country’s offshore fields off the coast of Cabinda and in deepwater fields in the Lower Congo Basin.
Located in water depths reaching up to 1,950m and situated approximately 150km off the Angolan coast, the Kaombo Project is the biggest ultra-deepwater oil field development in the country. The project is based in offshore Block 32, which is operated by TotalEnergies (30%); Sonangol (30%); the NOC’s subsidiary, Sonangol Sinopec (20%); ExxonMobil subsidiary, Esso (15%), and multinational energy corporation, Galp (5%). With a cost of $16 billion, the Kaombo Project comprises the development and tie-back of six satellite fields – the Gengibre, Gindungo, Caril, Canela, Mostarda, and Luro oil discoveries – and two floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) facilities – the Kaombo Norte and Kaombo Sul. The discoveries, spread over an area of approximately 800km2, are estimated to hold reserves of 650 million barrels of oil, and featured a total of 59 subsea production wells tied back to the FPSO units through 300km of subsea pipelines. The Kaombo Norte and Kaombo Sul FPSO vessels each have a processing capacity of 115,000 bpd and 100 million cubic feet of gas compression per day, and a storage capacity of 1.7 million barrels of oil. The Kaombo Project is frequently cited as one of TotalEnergies’ greatest technical achievements in the company’s history.
The Angola Liquefied Natural Gas Project
Serving as one of the largest energy projects on the African continent and the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the country, the Angola LNG Project supports the country’s offshore oil field developments through its capacity to process 1.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Situated 300km north of the country’s capital, Luanda, in the northern province of Soyo and in the mouth of the Congo River, the project is co-led by Chevron and Sonangol, with other partners including Eni and TotalEnergies. With a price tag of $12 billion and built to create and maintain value from the country’s offshore gas resources, the Angola LNG Project features a fleet of seven LNG vessels and three loading jetties. The project is capable of delivering 5.2 million tons of LNG per year to the global market and also serves to assist in meeting Angola’s industrial and energy needs.
Covering an area of 5,349km2 and composed of the Plutão, Saturno, Vênus, and Marte fields, the PSVM Project is situated approximately 400km from Luanda in the north-eastern section of Block 31. With first oil achieved in December 2012, the project’s FPSO unit, operated by BP, is capable of producing 157,000 barrels of oil and 245 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and features subsea offline manifolds and clustered well located in water-depths ranging up to 2,100m. The PSVM Project is the first ultra-deepwater development in Africa and, at the time of the completion, was the largest subsea development in Africa’s oil and gas industry. Block 31 is operated by BP (26.27%), along with the NOC’s subsidiaries, Sonangol E.P. (25%) and Sonangol P&P (20%), and Sonangol Sinopec International (5%), Norwegian oil and gas company subsidiary, Statoil Angola (13.33%), and independent energy company, Marathon International Petroleum (10%).
Brought online in late-November 2021 and targeting 44 million barrels of estimated oil reserves, the Platina Project in Block 18, offshore Angola, is expected to add an additional peak production of 30,000 barrels of oil per day to Angola’s capacity. Operated by BP Angola, with a 50% interest, the oil and gas supermajor contracted the DS-12 drillship to execute the drilling program, with a subsea tie-back to the Greater Plutonio FPSO and will complete four wells – two projection and two injection – over the next six months. The development features subsea wells tied back to the FPSO and two cargo vessels to support the rig, which is anchored by 12 mooring lines at a water depth of 1,300m. Spread over an area of 5,000km2, Block 18 is jointly operated by BP and Sonangol, each with a 50% interest, with the two oil and gas companies having reached an agreement to develop the field in December 2018.
The East and West Hub
Located approximately 350km north-west of Luanda within the Eni-operated Block 15/06, the first phase of the East and West Hub project featured the development of six fields in the West Hub – Sangos, Cinguvu, Mpungi, Ochigufu, and Vandumbu – and two fields – Cabaça South East and Cabaça Central UM8 – in the East Hub areas. The West Hub is linked by 31 subsea wells, of which 18 are producing and 13 are injecting, to the Ngoma FPSO, while the East Hub features 11 wells, six producing and five injecting, which are linked to the Olombendo FPSO. In 2020, the West and East Hub projects produced 123,000 barrels of oil per day from the Agogo offshore deposit a mere nine months after discovery. Drilling of the Agogo-1 well in January 2020 resulted in a flow rate of approximately 10,000 bpd, while the Agogo-3 well, drilled in February that year, increased the amount of oil estimated in place to 1 billion barrels. In April 2021, Eni drilled the Cuica exploration prospect, located within the Cabaça Development Area via the Armada Olombendo FPSO vessel. Additionally, September 2021 saw the start of production on the Cabaça North prospect, also through the Armada Olombendo FPSO, reaching a peak production rate of 15,000 bpd.
CLOV Phase 2 Project
Located approximately 140km from the Angolan coast and in water-depths ranging between 1,100 and 1,400m, the CLOV Phase 2 Project encompasses the Cravo, Lirio, Violeta, and Orquidea fields, estimated to contain up to 55 million barrels of oil equivalent in place. Launched in 2018, the tie-back project involves the drilling of seven wells and is connected to the existing CLOV FPSO vessel and will reach a production rate of 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by mid-2022. The project is situated in Block 17 and is operated by TotalEnergies (38%), alongside Equinor (22.16%), ExxonMobil (19%), BP Exploration Angola (15.84%), and Sonangol P&P (5%).