What Angola Can Learn From Nigeria’s Oil Production

With production declining and investment scarce, the Angolan leadership has put in place a number of new policies to reboot its oil industry and propel economic development. However, those changes take time and renewed deep-water oil and gas exploration for fresh reserves will take years to yield the desired results and stop the daily production crunch.

In the meantime, the government is targeting what it already knows exists, the country's multiple deposits of what has been dubbed marginal oil fields, which will go on sale this year during the Angolan Marginal Field Bid Round.

Marginal fields are defined by reduced profitability or lack of commercial viability. These can, at times, represent considerable amounts of crude oil in the reservoirs, but that, due to costly recovery processes, are not worth the investment under the existing legal and fiscal framework.

In the Angolan deep offshore, several of these prospects have been found over the years and dismissed in the pursuit of more profitable opportunities. However, in the wake of the lack of investment in exploration in the country over the last four years, these marginal reserves have become more relevant for Angola's macro-economic outlook.

So, in May 2018, President Lourenço's government published a new framework specifically designed to promote investment in these areas. According to the official text, the law considers marginal fields those discoveries with proven oil reserves of less than 300 million barrels (exceptions are considered for bigger reserves in particularly expensive working conditions), standing at or below 800 meters of water dept, that do not give returns to the State of more than USD$10.5 cents per barrel, returns for the operator of no more than USD$21 per barrel and that have an average return on investment after taxes of less than 15%. For those that fit these conditions, the government offers extensive tax and fiscal benefits, as well as, easier conditions for cost recovery, in order to make those reserves commercial and promote their development.

Angola is not the first to try this tactic. In 2003, Nigeria had already had a bid round for its marginal fields with a certain degree of success. The majors are not likely to be particularly attracted by these relatively small prospects, but they represent great opportunity for smaller independent African and non-African oil and gas companies that can work efficiently and with less overheads than its bigger counterparts, while having the business certainty of working prospects with guaranteed reserves.

The government is hoping that development in these marginal fields will help raise the current crude oil production (expected to be stagnant in the run up to 2022), while it promotes renewed investment in exploration and production in unexplored acreage.

The Marginal Fields Bid Round is expected to be launched in Luanda in June 2019 at the Angola Oil & Gas Conference, organized by Africa Oil and Power with the endorsement of the Angolan Government. It is likely to include onshore and offshore blocks in the Congo, Namibe and Cunene basins, and has already received considerable attention from industry players in the region.

Lessons learned

The Nigerian experience with marginal oil field development had measurable success, with 24 licenses awarded to 31 companies, some as sole operators and others as joint-ventures. The 2003 marginal field bid round opened a number of opportunities to local and regional industry players while it contributed to increase the country's oil output and promoted indigenous participation in petroleum upstream activities.

For companies like Oando, Waltersmith, Shoreline Energy, Seplat, Sahara Petroleum or Brittania-U, these fields represented important opportunities to farm-out some acreage from the majors and lead their own projects. While some developments have been slower than expected, the outcome of the process was mostly successful. Today, around a third of the licenses issued produce meaningful amounts of crude oil.

However, there are a couple of lessons to be learned from the Nigerian experience that apply to the Angolan reality. Firstly, marginal fields are particularly attractive for smaller indigenous or regional companies that can operate well with smaller profit margins. These companies are also much more cash-strapped than the likes of ExxonMobil or Total and therefore need investment capital to develop their acreage.

The Nigerian experience tells us that seeking capital in the local financial sector can be challenging. Nigerian banks have been resistant to awarding credit lines to small operators in this kind of project. Normally, banks issue loans against equity or assets used as collateral. These oil operators' attempt to use the oil reserves as collateral hasn't been well accepted by the Nigerian financiers, and that has delayed field development.

This means that inviting foreign partners with access to capital becomes paramount. Local Angolan companies are advised to seek the partnership of mid-size players like Tullow Oil, Trident, Kosmos, Noble, Perenco and many successful Nigerian oil firms, with extensive African experience and available liquidity that can help them progress and be successful in their endeavors.

Secondly, there is the issue of legal clarity. The Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill, which in its many forms has been under discussion for over two decades, continues to create disruption and uncertainty in the industry and delaying new bidding rounds. If the current form of the bill is approved, marginal field operators are expected to receive significant cuts in the taxes and royalties, but that remains unclear for the time being.

On that second note, the Angolan government's action must receive praise. In record time, a simple and clear framework was created for the marginal fields concessions. It will be important that action is also taken in finding solutions to facilitate the financing of many of these projects so that these efforts have a measurable impact on the country's oil industry.

A December 2018 article on the Nigerian newspaper The Oracle, titled "Angola pulls investment attention off Nigeria", blamed the ease of doing business and clear fiscal framework created for the marginal field bid round taking place in June as the main drivers in moving investors from the complicated dealings of Nigeria into the Angolan market, a sign of a job well done by the Lourenço administration.

In sum, Angola's journey towards revitalizing its oil industry and boosting production is already yielding positive results, with the perception of international investors already shifting towards a more positive outlook. Just in December, ExxonMobil and BP have pledged new investments in the country, while French Major Total launched its USD$16 billion Kaombo project in November and indicated further investment in the country in the near future.

These are important developments at a time when Sonangol tries to restructure and recapitalize to once again focus on exploration efforts. At the same time, the exploitation of the country's marginal fields within this new framework has the potential to, alongside steps to extend the life of declining fields, help maintain oil output as new major projects are developed.

If all continues in the direction it is now, it stands to reason that within three or four years we could again see the Angolan oil industry flourish. However, good governance and business-friendly policies coupled with clear fiscal and legal frameworks need to continue to be developed and upheld if the promise of the Angolan oil industry is truly to be fulfilled.

EnviroServ Fined R10.2m For Sabotaging Rivals

By Stephen Kasozi Muwambi 

WASTE Services Company EnviroServ Waste Management has been fined R10.2 million by the Competition Tribunal for collusion that would tantamount to sabotage and cheating of rivals.

This story concerns us given the fact that EnviroServ has a branch in Uganda doing environment management in the oil-laden Albertine Region of the western part of the country.

EnviroServ’s parent company is facing charges of abusing the environment back home in South Africa after residents complained of how their landfill at Shongwen in Durban emits a hazardous smell.

Four top guns of EnviroServ South Africa, Dean Thompson, the Group’s Technical director, Esme Gombault, the Group’s Technical director, Dr Johan Schoonraaad and Clive Kidd have since been criminally charged over the allegedly stinking landfill.

EnviroServ’s license was subsequently-- in April 2017-- revoked by the environment department in Durban leading to the closure of the landfill site. But Justice Ploos Van Amstel in mid this year rejected an application by environmental activists that sought to have the site permanently closed. But the judge said the site was to be managed by the ministry of environment in the meantime.

The R10.2m fine follows the tribunal finding that EnviroServ colluded with Wasteman Holdings, firms that competed with each other in performing waste transportation services, to set the downstream price in the market for waste transportation services.

The tribunal further found that the firms used Vissershok Waste Management Facility, their upstream landfill site joint venture, as a forum to reach agreement. It found that Vissershok would charge third-party waste transportation companies about 43 percent more to receive their waste than they charged the joint venture partners, EnviroServ and Wasteman.

This meant that third-party waste transportation firms were placed at a significant disadvantage in respect of their competitors, EnviroServ and Wasteman.

The often-acrimonious relationship between EnviroServ and Wasteman partly led to Wasteman’s decision to approach the Competition Commission in November 2012 to seek leniency for its part in the collusion.

The commission referred the complaint to the tribunal in February last year, alleging that EnviroServ and Wasteman fixed prices for waste transportation services from 1998 until November 2013.

The commission also alleged that EnviroServ and Wasteman divided markets by allocating customers between 2005 and 2012, but this complaint was dismissed by the tribunal.

EnviroServ advanced various arguments for the existence of the downstream price, including that it was functional to the joint venture, because it incentivised the firms to compete downstream.

The tribunal disagreed, stating that at all times the decision to fix the downstream price was not the behaviour of firms in a vertical relationship but rather the conduct of two firms competing directly with each other.

 

ENGIE To Fuel First Buses With Compressed Natural Gas In Cote d'Ivoire

The Ivorian Minister of Transport, Mr Amadou Koné, and several government Ministers gathered to launch a ground breaking initiative as part of the country's commitment to the Paris COP 21 agreement.

The Minister unveiled a fleet of buses commissioned by the Société des Transports Abidjanais (SOTRA), supplied by IVECO and fuelled by compressed natural gas. ENGIE and Tractebel collaborated to engineer, supply and install the first ever compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelling station in Abidjan.

The CNG fuelling station is located on SOTRA's premises in Yopougon, Abidjan, and will facilitate the operation of the new range of compressed natural gas buses. When fully commissioned, the gas fuelling station will have a compression capacity of 1360 m³/h, and will be split into two units, each equipped with two hoses, enabling four buses to charge at any one time. 

ENGIE and Tractebel have a unique level of expertise and a local presence that was vital to the success of the venture. They are specialists in delivering infrastructures which provide alternative fuels for green mobility solutions.

The Abidjan station is the first stage in the Ivorian government and public transportation companies plan to increase the number of CNG buses and ensure that the region is working towards fulfilling its commitment to the COP 21 agreement.

More importantly, it will lead the way for other African countries that are keen to further embrace clean technologies. Countries including Ghana, Togo, Benin and Cameroon are monitoring the success of the initiative with the intention of replicating the project.

As part of the deal between IVECO and the Société des Transports Abidjanais (SOTRA), 50 Crealis buses will run on compressed natural gas in Abidjan. The particle emission levels will be nearly zero, and their Nitrogen Oxide emissions will be reduced by 60 per cent. The buses will serve within Abidjan's wider urban area.

Deep Petroleum Industry Reforms Set Angola On Path To Growth In 2019

Reforms span from changes in tax law to changes in concession contracts and the opening of marginal fields to African independents. Key measures include the formation of upstream and downstream taskforces, the privatization of some Sonangol subsidiaries, and the creation of a new regulator to manage concessions. The measures are already attracting interest from investors and establishing confidence in the administration.

Angola's economy is set for recovery in 2019, in large part due to a series of regulatory reforms opening the country to new investment. 

Since entering office in 2017, President João Lourenço has focused on cleaning up corruption and implementing aggressive reforms to transform the oil and gas sector and the economy. The reforms, which span from deep changes in tax law to changes in concession contracts and the opening of marginal fields to African independents, have hit the books just as the oil price is stabilizing, and Angola is already attracting new interest from investors. 

Lourenço has made key appointments to shift the trajectory of the oil and gas sector, notably naming Diamantino Azevedo the new Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum. The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum quickly put together a task force comprised of both international and domestic stakeholders, including the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the President, Sonangol, BP, Chevron, ENI, Esso, Equinor, and Total. The task force has proposed improvements in several areas, including: simplifying the oil concessions management process; implementing incentives for investment in marginal fields; and creating a natural gas regulatory framework. 

By December 2018, several new laws have been enacted, including: 

  • The Natural Gas Regulatory Framework, which establishes policies for the monetization of natural gas (both associated and non-associated gas) in existing and new concessions; 
  • Incentives for investments, which vary from tax reforms to contract reforms, to encourage economic exploration and development of natural resources; 
  • Improved terms to better allow for exploration within development areas in existing blocks. 


Considered one of the most important changes to Angola's oil and gas sector, an independent regulator has been created to manage the country's oil and gas concessions, which were previously handled by the state-owned Sonangol. The National Oil and Gas Agency is the new granter and manager of concessions in a complete restructuring of the management of Angola's oil and gas industry. The move is designed to improve transparency, attract new investment and increase output.

The reforms have also addressed the downstream sector. The government has created a task force to focus on downstream issues, similar to the upstream task force. The taskforce teams will focus on what is needed to build a high conversion refinery in the Lobito municipality and a refinery in Cabinda. Eight companies have already been pre-selected for the Lobito refinery and seven selected for the Cabinda refinery. Angola currently imports about 80 percent of its refined petroleum products. 

The measures appear to be working — the World Bank's economic outlook for Angola released in December 2018 predicts GDP will grow by 1.7 percent in 2018 and 2.2 percent in 2019 — the first time the country will have seen positive growth since 2014. An improved investor environment is listed as a cause for the improvement. 

Mega oil and gas projects have achieved final investment decision since 2018, and several more are headed for FID in 2019 and 2020. A new licensing round is expected to attract new international explorers to the country, as well as promote the participation of Angola's domestic sector by offering incentives for marginal fields.

Oil Producers should Stand Together, Equatorial Guinea

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, representing the Government of Equatorial Guinea has called for unity amongst oil producing ahead of this week's 175th Ordinary Meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.

The meeting will be a critical juncture for the organization as it grapples with declining oil prices and a decision whether to prolong production cuts which stabilized global oil markets and brought the industry back from collapse.

Equatorial Guinea stands with OPEC and Non-OPEC countries, pledging continued support to the strong leadership demonstrated by our members and H.E. Mohammed Barkindo in a complex period for the oil and gas industry.

"Never in the history of the oil industry has unity amongst producing nations been more important. We call on oil producers to stand together and in solidarity with OPEC and under the leadership of our brother H.E. Barkindo, in our efforts to maintain balance and stability in oil markets." Said, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea joined OPEC in 2017, after signing on to the production cuts deal initially as a non-OPEC member in 2016. After the 2014 crash, Equatorial Guinea's oil-dependent economy went into recession.

Heading into 2019, however, Equatorial Guinea is looking ahead at $2.4 billion of foreign investment and eight exploration wells to be drilled. Equatorial Guinea's hopes for 2019 are not unique within Africa, which has hosted some of the world's biggest recent oil discoveries and is welcoming several new producers, including Senegal, Uganda, Mauritania and Mozambique.

Vantage Capital Provides €19m Facility To Pétro Ivoire

Vantage Capital, Africa's largest mezzanine fund manager, announced today that it has provided €19 million of mezzanine funding to Pétro Ivoire, a leading distributor of oil & gas products in Côte d'Ivoire.

The company operates a network of 72 petrol stations across the country (3rd placed after Total and Vivo Energy) and is also the largest gas distributor, with over 1.7 million gas bottles in circulation. It also holds a 40% stake in Côte d'Ivoire's largest gas storage and bottle filling facility, SAEPP. The company sold 230 million litres of petroleum products in 2017.

Vantage's funding has enabled the founding family to regain a controlling equity stake in the company by facilitating the buy-back of equity from two exiting private equity investors, Amethis and the West Africa Emerging Markets Growth Fund.

Founded in 1994 by Mathieu Kadio-Morokro, the company is now run by his son, Sébastien Kadio-Morokro, who was recently selected as one of the top ten Young Global Leaders in sub-Saharan Africa by the World Economic Forum. The exit of the private equity investors has made room for a French-based gas trading company, Geogas Entreprise SAS, to take a stake in the business alongside the founding family.

This transaction represents Vantage Capital's 27th mezzanine transaction across three generations of mezzanine funds, with its portfolio of mezzanine investments now spread across nine countries in Africa.

Outside of South Africa, Vantage has now invested in ten transactions for a total of $138 million across Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia and Botswana. Pétro Ivoire is Vantage's first investment in Francophone Africa and the mezzanine fund manager is currently pursuing several opportunities in Morocco, hoping to announce its first deal in that country in 2019.

Luc Albinski, Managing Partner at Vantage Capital, explained that "Vantage is proud to have structured the first-ever leveraged management buyout in Francophone West Africa. Vantage's mezzanine product provided the ideal solution to Pétro Ivoire's shareholders: enabling the private equity investors to achieve a successful exit and the founding family to acquire a controlling stake in their business without having to write out a big equity cheque."

David Kornik, Partner at Vantage Capital, added that "Pétro Ivoire is run by an experienced and deeply talented management team. They have successfully established the business amongst the leading players in Côte d'Ivoire's downstream oil & gas sector and we look forward to partnering with them through the company's next phase of growth."

Warren van der Merwe, Managing Partner at Vantage Capital, said that "we are delighted to conclude our first transaction in Francophone Africa. We believe Pétro Ivoire to be a gem. After being backed by several private equity funds over the past decade, the founding family has now been able regain control of their business. The new strategic alliance with Geogas Entreprise SAS, a major gas trading company, bodes well for the future of Pétro Ivoire." 

Sébastien Kadio-Morokro added, "Our vision is to be one of the largest African oil & gas distribution companies. With Vantage Capital as our financial partner, we intend to entrench our position as the leading company in this sector in Cote d'Ivoire and begin to expand regionally."

Jean-Thomas Lopez, Portfolio Manager at Amethis, said "Amethis is proud to have supported the founding family for the last five years, creating value together by doubling the size of the network - which included the acquisition of the Essenci network in 2014- as well as significantly enhancing access to gas by Ivorian families. This has helped slow down deforestation through the reduction in the use of fire-wood."

Clifford Chance (in Morocco) and Cabinet Chauveau (in Côte d'Ivoire) acted as legal counsel to Vantage. Carlara International (France), CMS Francis Lefebvre (France) and Emire Partners (Côte d'Ivoire) respectively acted as legal counsel to Geogas Entreprise SAS, Amethis & West Africa Emerging Markets Growth Fund and Pétro Ivoire. Dentons (in Morocco) provided tax advice, KPMG (in France) and Ernst & Young (in Côte d'Ivoire) were the financial advisors, OnPoint Africa (in Côte d'Ivoire) provided commercial advice, Marsh (in France) provided insurance advice and Ibis Consulting (in South Africa) reviewed the environmental impact.

Africa Must Support OPEC To Stabilize Oil Markets

The African Energy Chamber urges the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other key global oil producers, including Russia, to continue with the historic production cuts at the December 6, 2018 OPEC meeting to stabilize the oil price.

Oil prices have dropped by about 20 percent in November, and the month is likely to record the biggest one-month decline in oil prices since the crash of 2014. This is not good for producers in Africa and African economies.

The Chamber urges African producing nations, both those that are OPEC members and Non-OPEC members to speak up with one voice in support of OPEC's policy on stabilizing the market.

"This new drop in oil prices clearly shows the world that the global supply cut has not been eliminated. The future of the petroleum sector — and indeed the future of global energy security — depends on a continuation of the OPEC-led production cuts," said NJ Ayuk, chairman of the African Energy Chamber."

Oil producing nations, many of which are within Africa, are at particular risk of economic hardship if the supply glut continues and prices spiral. Such countries include Nigeria and Angola, two of Sub-Saharan Africa's largest economies, as well as Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, South Sudan, Algeria, Libya and Ghana. Other key countries that are investing in upcoming mega projects, like Mozambique, Uganda and Senegal, could face project delays in the face of low oil prices.

The historic Declaration of Cooperation, moderated by OPEC's Secretary General and Africa's own son, H.E. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo which was signed in 2016 by OPEC countries and 10 non-OPEC countries and saw several extensions, is set to expire at the end of 2018.

"The historic Declaration of Cooperation is largely credited with rescuing the oil industry from collapse, and returning economic security to oil-dependent nations, many of which are in Africa. Abandoning this extraordinary deal now would only see production increase and the supply glut worsen — effectively making any progress achieved in the last two years null and void," stated Ayuk.

"When the oil market is in crisis, the path to dignity and prosperity is closed off to many African families. It leaves many Africans, particularly those without advanced degrees on their own to chart their own course where clear and attainable paths to a meaningful and prosperous life once existed." Ayuk continued

The opinion of many Africans on OPEC and the energy sector has taken a measurable, positive jump as people acknowledge the strong connection between the oil and gas sector, the African economies and the African entrepreneurial dream.

The Africa Energy Chamber stands by OPEC and Consumers and we will continue work with our members to educate the public of the need for lasting stability in the oil industry.

It is our firm believe that the 2016 Declaration of Cooperation rescued the oil and gas industry and many African economies from imminent collapse. This should be continued next week in Vienna Austria.

Oil Investment To Drive Peace, Stability In South Sudan

The African Energy Chamber is encouraged by the progress made in South Sudan's oil sector after the peace agreement. The success of the South Sudan Oil & Power 2018 conference, which was attended by over 750 participants representing upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil sector from Africa, Europe, North America and the Middle East is a step in the right direction.

We are also encouraged by the Ministerial delegations from many countries like Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Russia, Uganda, etc. The success is an indication of South Sudan's increased attractiveness for African and international investors, as the East African nation works to ensure a stable peace and has doubled efforts to ramp up production and drill more wells.

"The presence of several international oil companies in Juba this week is very encouraging and shows that South Sudan is doing its best to restore the trust of the international investment community and should be encouraged by all parties," declared Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk form Juba.

The Chamber supported South Sudan's efforts to build a lasting peace, which resulted in a new peace agreement signed last month between rival factions. "The local and international oil community has an obligation to support both peace talks and the South Sudanese leadership to promote peace and reconciliation. We also call on the government to continue its efforts in encouraging an enabling environment, promoting local content and prioritizing the role of women in the oil sector" said NJ Ayuk.

We commend H.E. President Salva Kiir for meeting with H.E. Azhari Abdel-Gadir Abdalla, Minister of Petroleum and Minerals of the Republic of Sudan; H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea; Hon. Lokeris Peter, Minister of State for Energy and Minerals Development, Republic of Uganda; and H.E. Mahaman Gaya, Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers' Organization (APPO) to encourage collaboration on oil and gas matters.

H.E. President Kiir and the Minister of Petroleum of South Sudan, H.E. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth's continuous efforts to work with other Africans, OPEC and Non-OPEC nations in balancing and stabilizing the oil market is very encouraging to our members as we all work to prevent another supply glut in the oil sector. The Chamber continues to support all efforts to do balance the oil markets including trimming supplies as it is good for African producers, its citizens and the investors.

South Sudan remains under-explored, despite being East Africa's oldest and biggest oil producing nation. Although, production is being ramped up, South Sudan's latest oil & gas entrant, Oranto Petroleum, started exploration on Block B3 a year ago.

Angola To Promote New Petroleum Investment At Conference

The 2019 Angola Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition, to be held in Luanda from June 3 to 7, 2019, is officially endorsed by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum of Angola and organized by Africa Oil & Power.

Angola Oil & Gas 2019 supports the government's goal to bring greater investments to Angolan oil fields and highlight the recent reforms made by President João Lourenço that will significantly boost Angola's competitiveness.

The conference will be a platform for the government to disclose new opportunities for the oil industry in Angola, including the licensing of new petroleum blocks, new legislation for gas exploration and investment, exploration of marginal oil fields, onshore exploration and investments in all areas of the petroleum supply chain.

A resurgent Angola with a new political mandate and investment priorities will be the focal point of the Angola Oil & Gas 2019 Conference and Exhibition to be held from June 3-7, 2019 in Luanda.

Angola Oil & Gas 2019 will be the main event of the national oil industry for this revitalized sector, addressing the new investment climate under the leadership of President João Lourenço, the role of a new national oil and gas agency in the development of the sector, and the issuance of new licenses for exploration and production companies.

The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum is working in partnership with organizer Africa Oil & Power (www.AfricaOilandPower.com) to produce the country's largest investment conference in years. 

"Angola has been one of the world's leading producers of oil and gas, and under the new administration of President João Lourenço, we are focused on revitalizing and increasing our potential exponentially. We intend with this conference to maximize the value created for the Angolan economy by bringing investors who can increase the competitiveness in the oil market and use the Angolan oil industry as the main catalyst for boosting the economy in general," said the Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum of the country, Diamantino Pedro Azevedo.

"The sector has seen several changes, including a sustained drop in oil prices. Thanks to the reforms, Angola is stronger and better positioned in the current investment climate. We look forward to using Angola Oil & Gas 2019 as a platform to capitalize on new business and spark new interest in the industry as projects move forward."

Angola Oil & Gas 2019 will be the ultimate venue for the presentation of oil and gas projects, ongoing exploration activity, mergers and acquisitions and the presentation of companies operating in Africa's second largest oil producer, with 1.5 million barrels per day.

The conference will be the definitive platform for the government to disclose details about the 2019 oil and gas licensing round and to unveil new legislation for gas exploration and investment in marginal oil fields. Also a focal point of the program will be the creation of a new National Agency for Petroleum and Gas, which in 2019 will assume oil and gas licensing responsibilities.

The event will gather key governmental officials and C-level executives spanning the spectrum of the energy industry for a packed agenda of keynote presentations, moderated panel discussions, an exhibition, and networking gatherings. Angola Oil & Gas will put a premium on deal making and relationship brokering as Angola aims to attract investment in all segments of the petroleum industry. African ministers of petroleum will attend the event, as well as international investors and decision-makers.

"This is the time for global oil and gas investors, and Africa-focused companies, to take a fresh look at Angola," said Africa Oil & Power CEO Guillaume Doane. "The petroleum industry is set to benefit from the impetus provided by a new political administration and favorable oil prices, as well as the increasing influence of local companies. Angola Oil & Gas 2019 will be the catalyst for economic activity and investment in Angola, a platform to showcase the country's enormous potential, explain the projects and meet the key actors."

A comprehensive report on the Angolan energy sector entitled Africa Energy Series Angola 2019 will also be produced in tandem with the conference. The book will be an official investment tool for the Angolan oil and gas industry and will feature interviews and resources on Angola's most pressing energy issues and opportunities, including the acquisition of new licenses and new exploration of the offshore basins, strategies for reversing oil production declines, the potential for onshore oil and gas exploration, the emerging role of LNG, building a strong domestic sector and diversifying the economy through downstream efforts.

Angola's Move To Join The Gas Exporting Countries Forum Applauded

The GECF has been at the forefront of promoting the use of natural gas as an affordable and sustainable fuel of choice for sustainable development.

African countries rallying around the drive of Equatorial Guinea's Mines and Hydrocarbon Minister, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima's drive to monetize gas and engage with OPEC (www.OPEC.org) and GECF is a step in the right direction.

"Angola has vast untapped gas reserves that have not yet been monetized." said AEC Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk. "joining the GECF is a step in the right direction and in line with H.E. President João Lourenço blueprint for transformation, growth and boosting economic diversification by the monetization gas."

Angola's focus on gas is being backed by new legislation promoting the monetization of the country's gas reserves. In May 2018, Angola passed Presidential Decree No. 7/18 (PD 7/18), indicating President Lourenço strong commitment to reform the country's hydrocarbons sector and provide a boost to the gas industry. Presidential Decree No. 7/18 is the first law aimed at specifically regulating the prospection, research, evaluation, development, production and sale of natural gas in Angola.

"The Chamber welcomes the reforms in Angola and its commitment towards diversification and a market driven local content. This requires that government provides the necessary infrastructure and incentives that will enhance the productivity of labor and capital in the economy." Ayuk continued.  "The private sector has a role to play and there must be a change in its mindset, from commerce to industry"

The Chamber (EnergyChamber.org) welcomes these developments and salutes Angola on its efforts towards reforming its gas industry and deepening its engagement with international gas markets through Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

The Chamber and its members look forward to joining Angola's leadership at the Angola Oil & Gas 2019 Conference & Exhibition to be held June 3-7, 2019 in Luanda under the patronage of H.E. President João Lourenço.

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