Japan, Angola discuss refining, oil supply

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has entered talks with Angola to build refining facilities in the African country in exchange for oil supplies in times of emergencies.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspiondent

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 2 -- Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) has entered talks with Angola to build refining facilities in the African country in exchange for oil supplies in times of emergencies.

A METI delegation in early September met with the country's industry minister, Joaquim David, and senior officials at state-owned Sonangol.

No agreements have been reached, according to one Japanese official who explained that METI hopes to stabilize Japan's imports of oil and natural gas by diversifying its suppliers.

Angola's only refinery is a 39,000-b/d hydroskimming facility operated by Fina Petroleos de Angola at Luanda.

Angola has become a supplier of interest to a number of countries, including the US, according to a recent report.

"Few African countries are more important to US interests than Angola," said the report by the Center for Preventative Action, an arm of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York.

"Angola's success or failure in transitioning from nearly 30 years of war toward peace and democracy has implications for the stability of the US oil supply as well as the stability of central and southern Africa," the report said.

Angola on Jan. 1 became a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and is expected to have a production quota on Jan. 1, 2008. Reports say the amount of the quota will be decided on Dec. 5 at an OPEC meeting in Abu Dhabi.

In August, Roc Oil Co. Ltd., Sydney, confirmed a significant heavy oil find with its Massambala-1CH2 sidetrack well on Cabinda South Block in Angola (OGJ Online, Aug. 30, 2007).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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