Angolan state-owned oil firm Sonangol has awarded its fuel oil import deal to France’s Total, a major contract that was previously held by multinational commodity company Trafigura, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The awarding of the contract to Total is said to be a key move by Angola’s new president João Lourenço to distance himself from companies that worked with his predecessor, José Eduardo dos Santos.
Fuel oil was the last major Angolan contract Trafigura had, with volumes of 1.1 million tonnes in 18 cargoes over 2017 worth some $450 million.
Total is now expected to market a similar amount for Angolan state oil company Sonangol in 2019.
Trafigura has long been the main player in Angola, helping Sonangol sell large volumes of crude and fuel oil and also importing gasoline, gasoil and other refined products. The trading house was also a large lender to Sonangol, with debt guaranteed by future fuel sales.
Trafigura also lost out in March on the right to supply 2 million tonnes a year of gasoil in 21 cargoes to rival Glencore.
Total, one of the biggest foreign operators in Angola, has been steadily expanding oil production with the launch this summer the offshore Kaombo project and reaching a framework agreement with Sonangol to develop a retail station network.