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President João Lourenço has issued a decree aimed at speeding up the oil and gas licensing process to encourage new investment in the hydrocarbons sector and revitalise exploration to replace depleting reserves. Presidential Decree 86/18, dated 2 April, eliminates the prequalification phase of the licensing process for all new acreage allocated by state petroleum company Sonangol. The legislation also raises the value threshold above which purchases or contracts for services require public tender.

Angola
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Eni and Sonangol on 16 March started oil production from the Ochigufu project in Block 15/06 of Angola’s deep offshore. The field will add 25,000 b/d to production levels.Ochigufu is located in 1,300 metres of water, some 150km west of Soyo and 380km north-west of Luanda. The wells are connected subsea to the Sangos production system and from there tied in to the N’Goma floating production, storage and offloading vessel in the Block 15/06 West Hub.

Angola
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Angolan energy and water minister João Baptista Borges held talks in Kinshasa on 28 February with his Congolese counterpart, Jean-Marie Ingele Foto. The two ministers discussed power supply options for Angola’s Cabinda enclave, which is cut off from the rest of Angola by DRC territory and thus cannot receive power from the Angolan grid.

DR Congo | Angola
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Angola’s new president João Lourenço has sacked José Filomeno dos Santos as head of Angola’s sovereign wealth fund and set up a committee to manage the body. The sacking of José Filomeno, known as Zenú, the son of former president José Eduardo dos Santos, follows Lourenço’s removal on 15 November of Isabel dos Santos as head of the all-powerful national oil company Sonangol. Isabel’s sacking startled commentators who had thought Lourenço would keep everything much as president dos Santos had left it.

Angola
Issue 360 - 21 December 2017

Angola: Cobalt files for bankruptcy

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Cobalt International Energy said on 14 December it had filed for bankruptcy to facilitate a restructuring and sale of assets. Cobalt expects to conduct business as usual and have enough cash on hand to fund its operations during the process.The bankruptcy filing comes after several months of efforts to reduce debt and avoid delisting from the New York Stock Exchange after the planned sale of the US company’s 40% holdings in blocks 20 and 21 ran into trouble.

Angola
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The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) invites bids by 2 January from consultants to help state power producer Prodel prepare the rehabilitation of the Biopio hydropower plant and dam on the Catumbela River in the central province of Benguela. The hydropower plant, which was commissioned in 1957 with four units of 3.8MW, has an estimated installed capacity of 14.4MW. It is currently in an advanced state of disrepair, hindering its operation as well as raising serious safety concerns, according to the tender notice.

Angola
Issue 360 - 21 December 2017

Angola: Fertiliser plant planned for Soyo

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Denmark’s Haldor Topsøe has announced plans for a 2m t/yr fertiliser plant in Soyo in Zaire province using natural gas as feedstock, to supply Angola and the southern African region. The project is valued at $2bn and will take three years to build, chief executive Bjerne Clausen told reporters after meeting President João Lourenço. Local media quoted him as saying the project would create 4,000 direct jobs and 40,000 indirect jobs.

Angola
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Angola’s new president, João Lourenço, and new Sonangol chairman Carlos Saturnino have met the chief executives of Eni and Total and signed new agreements on upstream and downstream activities and renewable energy. Total chairman and chief executive Patrick Pouyanné met Lourenço and Saturnino on 4 December, paving the way for sanction of the Zinia Phase 2 development on the prolific Block 17. The 40,000 b/d Zinia 2 development will be tied back to the Pazflor floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, one of four on the block.

Angola
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Wärtsilä has announced a framework supply contract for the generating equipment for three new fast-track power plant projects being developed by Dongfang Electric International Corporation. The new baseload plants will be located in Luena, Benguela and Saurimo, and will each have an electrical output of approximately 23MW.

Angola
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Sonangol chief executive Isabel dos Santos left a large audience in London in no doubt she was a highly qualified entrepreneur, whose appointment to head the Angolan national oil company (NOC) was made on merit. The task of restructuring Sonangol was a process that could take five years, she said during a rare public interview at the Reuters headquarters in Canary Wharf on 18 October; she was focused on this major challenge above all else, skirting around other elements of the business empire that has made her probably Africa’s richest woman.

Angola
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José Eduardo dos Santos has retired from the presidency – if not from heading the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) – but his family and allies retain a dominant hold over the Angolan economy, in a web of relationships that anti-corruption activists believe will persist despite João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço’s election. Portuguese Socialist member of the European Parliament Ana Maria Gomes on 7 September hosted prominent Angolan activist Rafael Marques in Brussels, where he made waves with his detailed criticism of contracts awarded for the 2,172MW Caculo Cabaça dam to companies linked to the former president’s daughter Isabel dos Santos.

Angola
Issue 353 - 15 September 2017

Angola: Sales agreements for ALNG

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Angola LNG Limited has entered into multi-year sales agreements for liquefied natural gas (LNG) with Vitol and with RWE Supply & Trading. Under the agreements, ALNG cargoes will be delivered to Vitol and RWE at destinations around the world. “Angola LNG is operating safely and reliably. This agreement is a further demonstration of Angola’s increasing role in global LNG, providing LNG all over the world and establishing relationships with a series of important international LNG market players,” Angola LNG Marketing said.

Angola
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A major investment in hydroelectric power (HEP) plants promises to improve levels of energy access in a country with disconnected regional grids and a spotty record of project delivery. The government has set out an energy policy to 2025 that promises many more projects to come into service. These include the $4.3bn Laúca dam, which after four years of work celebrated the start-up of the first of six 334MW turbines on 4 August. State-funded Laúca’s remaining five turbines should come into operation in 2018, official reports said.

Angola
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Among those counting on the incoming government maintaining stability are the international oil companies (IOCs) that have made Angola Africa’s leading oil exporter. IOCs produced 96.7% of the total average 1.72m b/d output in 2016, according to Sonangol’s 2016 annual report. French major Total’s large holding of operated blocks gave its assets by far the biggest overall production, 229.36m bbls out of a total 630.11m bbls of crude oil output last year, which was 3% lower than in 2015.

Angola
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Critics abroad and poorer Angolans may question where billions of dollars of oil revenues have gone in past decades, but the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) prefers to trumpet its successes in the run-up to parliamentary elections on 23 August that will surely consecrate defence minister João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço as successor to President José Eduardo dos Santos. The government, forced to cut spending and borrow heavily as oil prices slumped to levels far below its budget calculations, is telling voters a better future beckons, with the announcement of progress on a string of new large hydroelectric power schemes (HEPs) and other infrastructure.

Angola