Angolan oil flow seen above 2 million b/d

Angola will produce 2.1-2.2 million b/d of crude oil by 2016, predicts Moody’s Investors Service.

In a credit analysis of the Angolan government, Moody’s cited deepwater projects due on stream soon in the Lower Congo basin and the government’s plans to offer deep and ultradeepwater blocks to international operators next year in the southern Kwanza basin and unexplored Namibe basin.

The Kwanza basin, Moody’s points out, has presalt geology similar to that of Brazil’s Campos and Santos basins (OGJ Online, Dec. 11, 2011).

Important to the imminent production gain is Total SA’s Kaombo project in 1,400-1,900 m of water in the Lower Congo basin. Total and its partners decided to proceed with the $16-billion development in April (OGJ Online, Apr. 14, 2014).

That decision, Moody’s said, boosts Angola’s production prospects.

“First, it signals investors’ positive assessment of Angola’s long-term offshore prospects, considering the relatively high cost of deep-sea oil exploration globally,” the analyst said. “Secondly, it supports Angola’s plans to ramp up oil production (to a targeted 2 million b/d for the next 5 years), notwithstanding a decline in output associated with maturing oil fields.”

Total projects Kaombo output at 230,000 b/d, which will join a further 300,000 b/d of production starting up from other developments over the next 18 months.

That non-Kaombo increment includes 160,000 b/d from Total’s CLOV project, which started production in May, and a combined 140,000 b/d due on stream this year and next from Eni on Block 15/06 and Esso on Block 15.

Angola’s total oil production last year averaged 1.73 million b/d.

In the Kwanza basin, south of the Lower Congo basin, operators have made seven discoveries on presalt blocks, Moody’s said.

The largest, according to Moody’s, is Cobalt International Energy’s Orca-1 strike on Block 20. Cobalt said the well found 250 ft of oil and condensate pay in multiple presalt intervals and has a resource potential of 400-700 million bbl.

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