Transforming Angola’s Oil and Gas (O&G) Sector: National Oil, Gas & Biofuels Agency (ANPG’s) Six-Year Licensing Round Attracts Global Investment

The six-year licensing round, launched by Angola’s national concessionaire – the National Oil, Gas&Biofuels Agency (ANPG) – has been a cornerstone in the country’s strategy to attract and secure substantial investments in its oil and gas sector. With up to 55 blocks on offer in total, the licensing round is designed to offer regular and transparent opportunities for IOCs and competitive Angolan operators to explore and develop the country’s hydrocarbon potential.

Representing the voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) – led by Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk – met with ANPG CEO and Chairman Paulino Jerónimo in Launda as part of a working visit to the country this week. The parties discussed measures in place to enhance the country’s enabling environment and the profound impact of the ongoing multi-year licensing round. The ANPG has been making great strides towards attracting foreign investment in exploration and production in line with national objectives to stimulate oil production and drive long-term economic growth. The AEC commends the efforts by the regulator and believes the foundations have been laid for industry-wide expansion.

Recent developments in the industry underscore the impact of license reform and promotion. In January 2024, the ANPG concluded the country’s 2023 licensing round, whereby 12 blocks were available in the Lower Congo and Kwanza basins. The regulator announced that 53 bids were submitted, demonstrating the scale of interest in the country’s acreage. The tender invited both national and international entities to participate, emphasizing criteria for operator status and the formation of contractor groups for the onshore blocks. Looking ahead, the ANPG is preparing for the next round of the licensing initiative, which is expected to further stimulate investments and partnerships, offering more opportunities for stakeholders to capitalize on Angola’s proven reserves. Featuring 10 blocks in the Kwanza and Benguela basins, the round will be launched in 2025.

Meanwhile, the ANPG is actively promoting exploration and production in the frontier Namibe Basin, confident in its identified leads and matured prospects across blocks and free areas. Energy major ExxonMobil plans to invest $200 million into exploring Blocks 30, 44 and 45 in the Namibe Basin, where the company, in partnership with NOC Sonangol, plans to drill an offshore frontier exploration well by late 2024.

Additionally, the ANPG’s extensive operational scope includes overseeing more than 40 operational concessions across Angola, with 16 currently in production across various offshore and onshore categories. These include three onshore, five in shallow water, six in deep water, and two in ultra-deep water. In addition to the production activities, there are numerous concessions under exploration – including 14 onshore blocks, one in shallow water, 11 in deep water and one in ultra-deep water. Further development efforts are ongoing for four deep-water concessions. The pipeline of future opportunities includes seven upcoming concessions. Additionally, there are concessions currently under negotiation, which consist of four onshore blocks located in the Lower Congo and Kwanza Basins, and three deep-water blocks (24, 49 and 50). This extensive array of operational, exploratory and developmental concessions highlights the significant potential and active investment landscape within Angola’s oil and gas sector.

Investing in Angola’s energy sector presents a strategic opportunity for several compelling reasons. The nation boasts a track record of successful exploration and production in both deepwater and onshore regions. Angola is the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa and is recognized as one of the top five most attractive countries globally for oil and gas investments, with a success rate of over 30% in its oil and gas opportunities. The presence of major IOCs such as Chevron, TotalEnergies, Azule Energy and ExxonMobil  -alongside competitive operators such as Afentra and Etu Energias – highlights the diversity of its investor base. Furthermore, the potential for partnerships with other IOCs and proficient Angolan operators enables the leveraging of local expertise and resources, fostering mutual benefit.

Several legislative reforms have been enacted to bolster Angola’s investment climate. These reforms encompass a range of initiatives, including Presidential Legislative Decrees 5/18, 6/18, and 7/18, which address exploration, development and production, including marginal fields and natural gas. Additionally, Presidential Decree 91/18 establishes rules and procedures for abandonment activities, while Presidential Decree 49/19 designates ANPG as the regulator of oil and gas activities. Furthermore, Presidential Decree 271/20 promotes local content development, and Presidential Decree 249/21 focuses on permanent offers. Finally, Presidential Decree 52/19 outlines the general strategy for awarding petroleum concessions from 2019 to 2025.

“Under the leadership of Jerónimo, the ANPG’s proactive approach in revitalizing Angola’s oil and gas sector is transforming the landscape of exploration and production, both onshore and offshore. The regulator’s comprehensive efforts are not only enhancing the country’s energy security but also attracting significant investment opportunities. This revitalization is crucial for Angola’s economic growth, creating jobs, and ensuring that the nation remains a competitive player in the global energy market,” stated Ayuk.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Chamber.

The post Transforming Angola’s Oil and Gas (O&G) Sector: National Oil, Gas & Biofuels Agency (ANPG’s) Six-Year Licensing Round Attracts Global Investment appeared first on Capital Newspaper.

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