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Oil and gas in Angola

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Oilfield Technology,


  • The first commercial oil discovery in Angola was made in 1955.
  • Oil production comes almost entirely from offshore fields.
  • Last year the country produced 1.75 million bpd of petroleum and other liquids.
  • Angola’s oil production grew by an annual average of 15% from 2002 – 2008.
  • Angola is a small natural gas producer.
  • The economy is largely dependent on oil production.
  • The EIA estimates that Angola earned US$24 billion in net oil export revenue in 2014.
  • The country has the third largest economy in Sub Saharan Africa.
  • Only 30% of Angolans have access to electricity.
  • In 2012, almost 50% of primary energy consumption consisted of traditional solid biomass and waste.


  • Sonangol is currently a shareholder in almost all oil and natural gas production and exploration projects in the country.
  • The company operates Angola’s only oil refinery.
  • The company owns 17 subsidiaries.
  • IOCs involved in Angola operate under joint venture operations and production sharing agreements with Sonangol.
  • Sonangol is becoming more involved in international ventures.
  • Algeria has strict local content requirements in its oil and natural gas industry.
  • The requirements are under the umbrella of the Angolanisation policy.

Oil and oil products

  • The country holds 9 billion bbls of proved crude oil reserves.
  • Oil production gradually increased from the 1960s to 90s, reaching almost 750 000 bpd by 2000.
  • Between 2002 and 2008 oil production boomed as multiple deepwater fields came online.
  • Total oil production peaked in 2008, reaching nearly 2 million bpd, of which 1.9 million bpd was crude oil.
  • There are several oil projects scheduled to start production over the next five years.
  • Most exploration activity in Angola is conducted offshore at depths of more than 1200 m.
  • Recent onshore exploration activity is mostly conducted in the Lower Congo basin onshore area.
  • Angola consumed 145 000 bpd of petroleum products in 2014.
  • The country imports 80% of the petroleum it consumes.
  • In 2014, Angola exported 1.65 million bbd of crude oil, including lease condensate.
  • Angola has been the second largest supplier of crude oil to China since 2005.
  • Most of Angolan crude oil is medium to light density.
  • The US has been importing oil from Angola since the 1970s.
  • In 2014, the US imported 136 000 bpd of crude oil from Angola.

Refining and subsidies

  • Angola has one small refinery that was constructed in 1955 and has a capacity of 39 000 bpd.
  • The refinery typically runs at 70% capacity.
  • Construction on a new Sonaref refinery in Lobito started in December 2012.
  • Low fuel prices have contributed to rising oil demand.
  • Fuel prices are among the lowest in the world.
  • The average gasoline price was 55% lower and diesel 67% lower than the average prices in Sub Saharan Africa.
  • Fuel subsidies accounted for almost 4% of GDP in 2014.

Natural gas

  • Angola holds an estimated 9.7 trillion ft2 of proved natural gas reserves.
  • Angola produces small quantities of marketed natural gas because the vast majority is flared as a byproduct of oil operations or reinjected into oilfields to increase recovery.
  • The country lacks the infrastructure needed to commercialise more of its natural gas resources.
  • Gross natural gas production in Angola was 380 billion ft3 in 2013.
  • Natural gas production comes entirely from natural gas associated with oil production.
  • Angola exported LNG for the first time in 2013.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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