Angola’s president, João Lourenço, said on Tuesday that his country was finalising a master plan for natural gas with a 30-year horizon, and called on international investors to look at business opportunities in the Portuguese-speaking country.
João Lourenço was opening the Angola Oil & Gas international conference, organised by Energy Capital & Power, under the slogan “Promoting an Inclusive, Attractive and Innovative Oil and Gas Industry in Angola.”
“The Angolan government is concluding a natural gas master plan that will define the foundations to start boosting natural gas resources in Angola, over a timeframe of around 30 years to ensure job creation and revenue generation for the state,” he said in his speech.
Lourenço pointed to some structural natural gas projects that are being implemented, notably a new gas consortium to ensure continuous supply to the Angola LNG factory and the Soyo combined cycle thermal power plant and to support the implementation of other industrial projects.
He also noted that the conference was being held when the international geopolitical situation “has created accentuated distortions” in the commodities market and that Angola aspired to be a competitive hydrocarbon producer.
In this context, the government has worked “tirelessly” to establish a promising regulatory environment, having redefined the sector’s governance model and the roles of the different entities, he said, highlighting the intervention in state oil company Sonangol that “focused on its main object, which includes the entire value chain of the oil industry”.
According to Lourenço, this new model made the sector more transparent and competitive, making it more attractive for attracting national and foreign investment. It made it possible to keep production above 1.1 million barrels a day over the last five years.
To boost the sector, the government has defined other measures, such as the bidding strategy that aims to award 50 new blocks by 2025, of which 20 have already been awarded, and the hydrocarbon exploration strategy that seeks to intensify the replenishment of reserves.
Amongst the measures mentioned by the Angolan president was the development of the refining strategy, including the expansion of the Luanda Refinery, which has quadrupled the production of petrol and the three new refineries (Cabinda, Soyo and Lobito).
Much of the equipment for Cabinda is in place, and the first phase of this refinery, which will have the capacity to process 60,000 barrels a day, is expected to be concluded in 2023.
In Soyo, which will process 100,000 barrels a day, the first stone has been laid, and preliminary work is underway whilst the developer finalises the documents for signing the financing contract, the president said.
In addition, Sonangol has been directed to move ahead with constructing the Lobito refinery, with a capacity of 200,000 barrels a day. Work is now underway to preserve infrastructures already on the ground.
In the case of storage, onshore storage is being expanded, and the first phase of construction of the ocean terminal at Dande bar is being implemented.
João Lourenço also addressed the issue of energy transition to a low-carbon economy, stressing that the oil sector should promote sustainable management of fossil fuels.
In this field, the Angolan government has also been engaged in building photovoltaic plants via Sonangol based on partnerships with international companies such as Eni, Total and German companies to develop green hydrogen production projects, “which will contribute to the sustainability of its business portfolio”.
The president reiterated that Angola was “open to private investment,” proposing “fair” fiscal and contractual terms and conditions for those who want to invest in the country.