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France’s oil major Total said on Friday that it had started up oil production at the Kaombo area, which is currently the biggest deepwater development offshore Angola.
Total and partners have successfully brought on stream Kaombo Norte, the first Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit, which is expected to produce an estimated 115,000 bpd.
The second FPSO unit—Kaombo Sul—is expected to start up next year, said Total, which is the leading oil operator in Angola with production averaging 229,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day last year from Blocks 17, 14 and 0, as well as Angola LNG.
Total production at the Kaombo development is planned to reach an estimated 230,000 bpd at its peak, while the associated gas will be exported to the Angola LNG plant.
A total of 59 oil wells will be connected to the two FPSOs, both of which are converted Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), through one of the world’s largest subsea networks, Total said. The wells will develop the resources of six fields spanning an area of 800 square kilometers (309 square miles) in the central and southern part of Block 32, where Kaombo is located.
“The Kaombo start up is a great milestone for Total. Developing the estimated 650 million barrels of reserves will contribute to the Group’s growing production and cashflow in Africa,” Arnaud Breuillac, President Exploration & Production at Total, said.
“Total is proud to build on its deep offshore expertise to operate the latest major project coming on stream in Angola, which will account for 15% of the country’s oil production,” Breuillac noted.
The new oil development is a much-needed boost to the crude oil production of Angola, whose June output dropped by 88,300 bpd from May, according to OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report from earlier this month.
Angola has been struggling to attract international investments in its deepwater higher-breakeven oil resources. Angola’s oil fields are maturing and are nearing depletion. Unless new investments are made in new discoveries, things will continue getting worse, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned earlier this year.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.