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Angola and Ghana: West Africa's New Gems

Sweet Angola’s Sweet, Light Crude

OPEC-member Angola is a leading producer of crude in Sub-Saharan Africa; more than one-third of all offshore oil discoveries in the region in the past three years have been in Angola. Onshore and shallow water pre-salt discoveries are currently being boosted both by new exploration results and by the government’s decision to open the playing field to the juniors with a new round of auctions.

Angola has proven reserves of 9.5 billion barrels of sweet, light crude oil, making it the second-largest in the region behind Nigeria. By the end of 2014, Angola hopes to be producing 2 million barrels per day thanks to offshore projects that will be coming online. For 2012, Angola’s production average is 1.7 million barrels per day, but that is rising fast. Angola will achieve, if not exceed, its goal.  Angola has 12 major deepwater projects onstream, exploiting 35 fields.

In 2011, the majors descended on the scene in full force, acquiring 11 deep-water subsalt blocks in the Kwanza Basin, including Italy’s Eni, Norway’s Statoil, Spain’s Repsol YPF, US ConocoPhillips, and France’s Total SA. BP Angola, ESSO Angola, Galp Energia, Denmark’s Maersk Oil, Petrobras, Chevron and Cobalt International Energy Inc. also participated in the bidding. The best block on offer in the Kwanza Basin (Block 20) went to Cobalt.

But these blocks were offered in a limited bidding round only. The…

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