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Angola Oil and Gas: Its History, Production and Export

angola oil and gas sector

Angola Oil and Gas: Its History, Production and Export

Today, we’re talking about the complex story of Angolan oil and gas market. From its intriguing history to its production and many impacts on the global oil market, this is a fascinating West African oil market to explore. Read on to learn more about this unique source of energy!

History of Angola’s Oil and gas Sector

Angola is one of the largest oil producers in Africa and has a long history of producing crude oil. Angola’s first offshore oil field, Malongo, was discovered in 1968 in the province of Cabinda by the American company Gulf Oil. Since then, Angola’s petroleum industry has grown significantly, and the country now produces over 1 million barrels of oil per day, with Sonangol as its National Oil Company.
ExxonMobil is the world’s largest publicly traded integrated petroleum company and is active in Angola through its subsidiary Cabinda Gulf Oil Company Limited. Chevron also operates in Angola through its subsidiary and is among the most significant foreign oil investors there.
Most of Angola’s natural gas production is associated with its oil production activities, and international oil companies from the United States and Europe are leading investors in these projects. The Angolan government has set an ambitious goal to stabilize its exploration and production activities at 1.5 million barrels per day by 2025.
Certificates of origin must be issued accurately and consistently to verify that all exported goods come from within Angola’s borders. This will help ensure that all commercial transactions are conducted according to international trade regulations and will help prevent any illegal activities such as smuggling or money laundering.
Despite the challenges posed by fluctuating world crude prices and a civil war that devastated much of its non-oil economy, Angola is still developing as a significant player in global oil and gas exploration and production.

Exploration and Production of Crude Oil and Natural Gas

Angola is a major producer of crude oil and gas exploration, with an estimated 9 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves.
Oil export revenue accounted for nearly 97% of total export revenue in 2018. The Asia-Pacific region is the top export destination for Angolan crude oil, followed by Europe and North America.
Oil production is expected to continue to rise due to increased investment in Angola’s deepwater projects, such as ExxonMobil’s Hungo (Kizomba “A” FPSO), located offshore Angola (370 km NW of Luanda). The development of this project has enabled Angola to increase its capacity significantly.
Notably, 97.6% of Angolan exports to China are petroleum products (Instituto Nacional de Estatística, 2019). The country also relies on producing and exporting oil, gas, and biofuels to ensure its economic survival, with the “oil for infrastructure” model proving particularly successful in recent years.
To ensure that Angola maximizes the benefits from its oil and gas facilities, it has implemented a number of measures, including Certificates Of Origin regulations which allow for preferential trade agreements between countries, as well as a Revenue Management Framework which provides oversight over the management and distribution of resources from the industry.

Oil and Gas Fields in Angola

Angola is a significant oil producer, and its oil and gas sector plays a significant role in the country’s economy. The country’s oil production is largely concentrated in the offshore Cabinda Province, where several major oil fields are located. These fields include:

  1. Cabinda North: Located in the shallow waters of the Cabinda Gulf, this field is operated by Chevron and produces a heavy grade of crude oil.
  2. Block 0: Operated by Total, this field is located in the deep waters of the Cabinda Gulf and produces a light grade of crude oil.
  3. Block 14: Operated by ExxonMobil, this field is located in the deep waters of the Cabinda Gulf and produces a medium grade of crude oil.
  4. Block 15/06: Operated by Sonangol and Chevron, this field is located in the deep waters of the Cabinda Gulf and produces a medium grade of crude oil.
  5. Block 17: Operated by ExxonMobil and Sonangol, this field is located in the deep waters of the Cabinda Gulf and produces a medium grade of crude oil.
  6. Block 18: Operated by Total and Sonangol, this field is located in the deep waters of the Cabinda Gulf and produces a medium grade of crude oil.
  7. Block 31: Operated by BP and Sonangol, this field is located in the deep waters of the Cabinda Gulf and produces a medium grade of crude oil.
  8. Block 32: Operated by ENI and Sonangol, this field is located in the deep waters of the Cabinda Gulf and produces a medium grade of crude oil.

It is worth noting that Angola’s oil production has fluctuated over the years due to a variety of factors, including changing global demand for oil and changes in the country’s political and economic landscape.


How the Angolan Oil Differs from Others

Angolan crude oil differs from other oils primarily in terms of its density, sulfur content, and viscosity. The density of Angolan crude oil is generally greater than that of other oils, which means it contains more energy per unit volume. Additionally, it has a higher sulfur content than other crude oils, making it more corrosive and difficult to refine.
Finally, the viscosity of Angolan crude is higher than that of other crude oils, meaning it flows more slowly and requires higher temperatures to move through pipelines. These characteristics make refining of crude oil from Angola less attractive, due to its increased cost and complexity compared to other crudes.

Angolan Crude Oils


Impact of Angola’s Oil on Global Markets

Angola’s oil reserves are estimated to be around 9 billion barrels, making it one of the largest crude oil producers in Africa and 17th globally.
The country relies heavily on oil exploration, which accounts for more than half of Angola’s GDP. As a result, Angola’s oil and gas operation substantially impacts global markets.
Oil operation plays a critical role in Angola’s economy and provides a significant source of foreign exchange earnings. In addition, the sale of Angola’s crude oil has helped fund development projects, infrastructure improvements, and social services in the country.
This has helped reduce poverty levels and improve living standards for many citizens.
Angola is also an essential supplier to international markets, especially in Europe and Asia. The country’s production accounts for around 5% of the world’s total supply, increasing steadily since 2015 due to increased investments in new fields and improved output from existing ones.
This has allowed Angola to become a major exporter of crude oil to these markets, making it a reliable supplier when supply is short, or prices are volatile.
In addition, Angola has become an essential player in the global energy market due to its involvement in OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).
By joining OPEC, Angola can influence global market trends by setting production quotas that affect prices. This helps stabilize prices by ensuring enough supply when demand increases or decreases suddenly.

OPEC Interest in Angola Oil

Angola is one of the founding members of OPEC or the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Several factors, including the increase in oil prices and a need for greater control over oil production, triggered the formation of OPEC.
Angola joined OPEC in June 1975 and with four other African countries (Algeria, Gabon, Libya and Nigeria). It was one of the first African countries to become part of OPEC, and it has since played an essential role in the organization.
Angola’s involvement in OPEC began in 1960 when five oil-producing developing countries met in Baghdad to form what would become known as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
This meeting marked a significant turning point for Angola and other nations that were becoming increasingly dependent on oil exports. Since then, Angola has consistently participated actively in OPEC policies and initiatives.
In addition to helping to shape petroleum policies, Angola has also significantly benefited from its participation in the organization. For example, during the oil crisis between 1972 and 1974, Angola could secure higher prices for its crude oil exports due to its membership within OPEC.
Additionally, through its involvement with OPEC, Angola has gained access to international markets, allowing it to grow its economy significantly over time.
Lastly, Angola’s membership within OPEC has also enabled it to take advantage of several development projects related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Impact of Low Prices on the Angolan Economy

The Angolan economy has been under significant stress due to lower oil prices, declining production and unsustainable policies. This has had a considerable impact on the country’s public finances as a result of the collapse in oil prices, and it has also had negative implications for its productive capacity and diversification efforts.
The IMF has pushed for fiscal transparency to help address the issue and help the country recover from its current economic crisis. In addition, Angola’s low-price nuclear case could have global energy landscape implications.
The Angolan oil sector relies heavily on transnational corporations and international capital while attracting little local investment.
Furthermore, the fall in global prices (at a 20-year low) is expected to affect Angola’s domestic energy costs negatively.
This could lead to higher energy prices for consumers and businesses and increased unemployment due to fewer job opportunities in the energy sector.
Ultimately, these factors could lead to a further decline in economic growth, an increase in poverty levels, and an even more unstable political environment if not addressed promptly by policymakers.
Therefore, it is essential that Angola takes measures to diversify its economy away from an overreliance on oil production and introduces fiscal transparency reforms to protect itself from future shocks caused by low oil price fluctuations. this includes investments in the Angola LNG plant.

Factors Affecting the Price and Availability of Angolan Crude Oil

  1. Global Demand: Global oil demand is a significant factor affecting the price and availability of Angolan crude oil. As the demand for oil increases, so does the cost and availability of Angolan crude oil.
  2. OPEC Production Quotas: OPEC is an intergovernmental organization that sets production quotas for its member countries, including Angola. To keep prices relatively stable, OPEC periodically adjusts production quotas to manage the supply of crude oil in the global market. Therefore, if Angola produces more than its quota, it could negatively impact the price and availability of its crude oil.
  3. Political Unrest: Political unrest in Angola can create uncertainty in its energy sector, leading to volatile prices and disruption in supply chains. This can be especially true when there are sanctions or embargoes on the country by other countries or international organizations such as the United Nations (UN).
  4. Weather Conditions: Major storms such as hurricanes can affect offshore drilling operations in Angola and disrupt production schedules, resulting in lower supplies and higher prices of crude oil on the market.
  5. Geopolitical Relationships: Geopolitical relationships between Angola and other countries can also impact the prices and availability of Angolan crude oil exports.Suppose a country has strong diplomatic relations with Angola. In that case, it could benefit from preferential pricing or greater access to Angolan resources, leading to increased global supply at more competitive prices.

Foreign Investment in Increasing Production Levels

Foreign investment can be an essential tool for increasing production levels in a country. By providing capital, technology, and expertise to local economies, foreign investors can help to expand businesses and create new jobs.
This increased economic activity can lead to improved productivity and higher output levels. Additionally, foreign investors may bring new ideas and innovations to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Foreign investment helps raise production levels by introducing capital goods into the economy. Capital goods produce other items, such as factories or machinery. When these goods are imported, they boost the domestic economy by increasing production capacity and enabling more efficient use of resources.
This can lead to higher output levels overall.
Another way foreign investment helps is by introducing new technologies into the economy. As a result, foreign investors can help local businesses lower costs and become more competitive in the global marketplace by providing access to cutting-edge technologies abroad.
This increased competition often leads to improved quality of products at a lower cost, which translates into higher output levels overall.
Finally, foreign investment also has the potential to create jobs in the local economy.
As businesses expand or introduce new technologies with the help of foreign capital, they often require additional employees to manage operations or develop new products or services. This job growth can positively impact output levels as workers gain better pay and more opportunities for advancement within their chosen industries.

Opportunities for International Companies

Angola is an attractive market for international companies looking to expand their operations. The country has a rapidly growing economy, a strategic location in Africa, and abundant natural resources. It is also one of the largest oil-producing countries in Africa, offering lucrative opportunities for foreign firms.
The government of Angola has taken numerous steps to make the country a more attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). It has implemented several reforms to improve its business environment, including establishing a new Foreign Investment Law that makes it easier for international companies to operate in Angola.
The government also offers tax incentives and other financial benefits to reduce the cost of doing business in Angola.
Additionally, the country has an impressive infrastructure network that facilitates trade and commerce between Angola and its neighbours.
Furthermore, foreign companies operating in Angola have access to a large pool of skilled labour that can be hired at competitive wages.
The country also boasts an educated workforce with diverse backgrounds and experience levels, which can help international firms tap into new markets and develop innovative products or services.
Overall, there are many opportunities for international firms looking to establish operations in Angola. With its growing economy, strategic location, abundant resources, favourable business climate, and access to skilled workers, this African nation is an attractive option for global businesses seeking new growth prospects.

Strategies for Reducing Carbon Emissions

1. Switch to Renewable Energy Sources: One of the best ways to reduce carbon emissions from Angolan crude oil is to switch to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro and geothermal. This would not only reduce the number of carbon emissions but also help improve air quality in Angola.
2. Implement Energy Efficiency Programs: Another way to reduce carbon emissions is by implementing energy efficiency programs. This could include providing energy-efficient appliances and lighting systems, efficient insulation for buildings and homes, and encouraging renewable energy sources.
These programs would significantly reduce the amount of electricity used in Angola and subsequently lower the number of carbon emissions produced from using traditional electricity sources.
3. Reduce Flaring Emissions: Flaring is a process used to burn off excess associated gas produced during crude oil production. However, this process has large amounts of carbon dioxide, which can reduce through efficient flaring management practices such as using flare gas recovery systems or shutting down flare stacks when not needed.
4. Increase Use of Carbon Capture Technology: Carbon capture technology involves capturing carbon dioxide emitted from burning fossil fuels before they are released into the atmosphere.
This technology can capture a large portion of carbon dioxide emitted from Angolan crude oil production and thus significantly reduce its environmental impact on the region’s atmosphere.
5. Utilize Biomass Energy: Biomass energy is an environmentally friendly form of energy derived from organic materials

Future Outlook for Angola’s Petroleum Market

Currently, in 2022, the Republic of Angola’s petroleum market is a crucial contributor to the country’s economy, with oil and gas revenues accounting for more than 90% of Angola’s exports and 70% of government income.
With proven reserves estimated to be over 13 billion barrels of oil and an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas production, Angola is one of the world’s largest oil producers, making it a significant player in the global energy market.
The future outlook for Angola’s oil and gas industry is bright. The country has attracted significant investments from international oil companies, which are expected to bring new technologies and increase production.
In addition, the government has implemented various reforms to improve the investment climate and encourage foreign investment in the sector.
The Angolan government has also been working on increasing transparency in the sector by introducing a new legal framework that includes fiscal incentives for companies operating in Angola and establishing an independent regulator for hydrocarbon activities.
This will ensure that all players have access to transparent and equitable rules and greater transparency regarding contracts, terms and conditions.
Lastly, increased exploration activities are also expected to boost production levels soon. Recent discoveries have indicated a substantial potential for both onshore and offshore fields, potentially leading to significant production increases over the coming years.


In summary, Angola’s petroleum sector is expected to remain a key driver of economic growth in years to come due to its vast reserves.
The global oil industry is a multi-trillion dollar industry, and Angola is one of the top oil exporters to China and recipient of the highest amount of Chinese loans.
The recent bans on Russian fuels have changed the commodity landscape considerably, with countries effectively choosing sides and forming new relationships and long-term trade agreements.
It is essential to be aware of crude market developments to make informed decisions about trade and investments in the sector.
To learn more about how Phycomex helps energy companies make informed procurement decisions, please get in touch for a free consultation.


Thanvir has 20 years of experience with some of the largest energy and financial information providers. Founder and CEO of Phycomex, where he is trusted by commodity traders, financiers, consumers, and refiners to help optimise procurement.


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