Angola and Total in $16bn offshore oil project

Monday November 12 2018

The Kaombo Norte, a Floating Production Storage

The Kaombo Norte, a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO), operated by French multinational oil company Total, on November 8, 2018, about 250km off the coast of Angola in the Atlantic Ocean. PHOTO | AFP 

By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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Angola and French oil conglomerate Total have launched a new $16 billion offshore oil project.

The Project Kaombo, located in the Atlantic Ocean 250km from the capital Luanda, aims at aiding the Angolan economy that plunged into a crisis following oil price dips in 2014.

The project will produce 230,000 barrels per day, equivalent to 15 percent of Angola's current production.

A record 300 kilometre-long network of pipes has been built some 2,000 metres down, to bring up the hydrocarbons.

The economy

Two boats, each more than 300 metres long, will pump crude from six subsea fields spread over 800 square kilometres.

The first of the two new vessels, Kaombo Norte, produced oil for the first time in July and will be joined by its sister ship Kaombo Sul in mid-2019.

Angola's Social and Economic Development minister Manuel Junior noted that despite the government’s effort to diversify the economy, oil remained a critical player.

Total is the largest producer in Angola, extracting about 700 barrels daily, or 42 per cent of the country’s total output.

Energy revenues

Total chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne told journalists that his company would maintain production levels in the coming years, adding that there was a positive dynamic with the heightened petrol price.

The French oil conglomerate has led the project in partnership with Angolan state oil company Sonangol, US oil major Esso and Portugal's Galp.

Angola is Africa's second leading oil exporter, but its nationals remain impoverished, seeing little benefit from energy revenues.

According to the United Nations, oil sector represents 97 per cent of Angola’s exportation and 80 percent of public revenues, and employs one percent of the population.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June said the dramatic drop in oil prices, substantially reduced Angola's tax revenues and exports, with growth coming to a halt and inflation accelerating sharply.

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