The Angola Oil&Gas (AOG) 2023 conference and exhibition’s lineup of panels for Day two kicked off with an exciting discussion on exploration and production opportunities in southern Africa’s frontier.
Moderated by Justin Cochrane, Director of African Research at S&P Global Commodity Insights, the panel featured the participation of Melissa Bond, Managing Director, ExxonMobil Angola; Rui Rodrigues, Development and Exploration Director, TotalEnergies Angola; Giovanni Aquilina, Exploration Director, Azule Energy; Paul McDade, CEO Afentra; and Ana Miala, Director of Production, ANPG.
As oil and gas explorers seek prospects with lower risks and high potential for commercial production, the panel highlights southern Africa as a strategic investment destination for exploration players. As such, McDade highlighted Afentra’s role in developing Angolan frontier assets while enhancing production on some of the country’s mature fields, with particular focus on developing Blocks 3 and 3/05.
“Afentra is focused on mature fields, on- and offshore. In Block 3, we have been fortunate to transact one deal and have another ongoing. And when we complete these transactions, we will be on track to develop Block 3/05,” McDade stated, adding, “We see a huge opportunity there, with 3 billion barrels in place. Sonangol has been doing a great job developing that asset, but we believe there is more work to be done there.”
Meanwhile, Miala highlighted the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency’s (ANPG’s) role in promoting exploration opportunities in the country. She stressed that infrastructure improvement is imperative for Angola to tap into its immense on- and offshore resources.
“With achievements in the sector, we anticipate exploration activities and we at the ANPG believe we are on the right path. We aim for 1 or 1.3 million barrels per day in the next five years,” she said.
The panel delved into the latest exploration and production developments on the horizon in Angola, showcasing opportunities in the region’s upstream sector. Aquilina highlighted, Azule Energy’s latest activities and upcoming projects.
“We have drilled two wells within Block 2/06. These two wells were completely different from each other as the first well was a pure infrastructure-led operation to see if we could find hydrocarbon resources to feed into our FPSO,” stated Aquilina, adding, “The second well we recently completed. There is no infrastructure there, but we have two existing discoveries. Our vision is to continue this strategy and explore nearby the infrastructure.”
Boasting new discoveries in and exploration success in Angola’s Block 15 and in the Namib Basin, Bond divulged oil and gas supermajor ExxonMobil’s development strategy in the country. She also highlighted Angola’s favorable legislative and regulatory environment, noting the company’s cooperation with the private sector.
“We have had a lot of exploration success – 18 discoveries – in Block 15. We are in the process of processing the development wells and want to start production this year,” stated Bond, adding, “We are also very excited about the Namib Basin. We are very thankful for the cooperation with the Ministry and the Agency and are actively working to start drilling operations in that basin next year.”
Meanwhile, the panel highlighted Angola’s deepwater acreages as very promising frontiers for oil and gas exploration. TotalEnergies’ production efforts in Angola’s Block 17 have resulted in immense investment opportunities for service companies seeking to participate in the country’s exploration and production space.
“TotalEnergies’ strategy is to focus on Angola, and we are acting in all the basins, both in deepwater and ultra-deepwater,” stated Rodrigues.
Under the theme, ‘Energy Security, Decarbonization and Sustainable Development’, the panel showcased many developments and opportunities across Angola’s exploration and production space. Poised to usher in a new era of energy security and revenue generation, Angola’s potential as an energy hotspot in the region positions the country at the forefront of energy investment for public and private sector players.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital&Power.