Angola, one of the two main suppliers of oil to China, may in 2014 become Africa’s largest oil producer once again, with new wells coming online and production stagnating in Nigeria.
After starting the year at a low, due to technical problems on some oil rigs, Angola’s oil production is recovering, and state oil company Sonangol expects production to reach 2 million barrels a day in 2015.
A recent report by Ecobank Research said that the production increase would be driven by a new project led by French oil company Total, known as CLOV, which will add between 160,000 to 200,000 barrels to daily production.
“Angola can potentially recover its place as Africa’s main oil producer at the end of 2014,” according to the update of the Energy, Oil and Gas report.
More than three years after the first auction of blocks in the pre-salt layer, eight offshore projects are about to be launched, including one in Block 15-06 that has daily production of 80,000 barrels and total estimated reserves of 200 million barrels.
Italian oil company ENI, which is the block’s operator, expects to launch exploration next year with production in the eastern quarter of the block, which should add another 49,000 barrels.
Nigeria is currently Africa’s top oil producer, but lost that title to Angola in 2009, due to militant attacks on some production facilities in the Niger Delta.
Due to security issues in the region and more broadly in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s production has fallen consistently short of forecasts: last year, the target was 2.53 million barrels, but actual production was around just 2.1 million barrels.
According to the BMI consultancy, security, political and legislative concerns are expected to lead to the postponement of investment projects by oil multinationals in Nigeria, preventing the growth of the industry.
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