A Voyage of Discovery

Eni Angola’s activities are wholly directed to the conventional and deep offshore, over a developed and undeveloped acreage of 21,441km2. Eni Angola Managing Director, Andrea Giaccardo, spoke to Africa Energy Series – Angola about a series of recent discoveries in Block 15/06.

Angola has traditionally been an expensive country in which to produce oil. How can recent oil and gas legislation serve to attract new explorers and offset market conditions?

The 2018 developments in Angola’s oil and gas sector and the overall political environment can provide insight into the path the industry may be treading in the years ahead and offer the confidence that change is coming. The new legislation for the development of marginal fields will drive investments and will contribute to a future reversal of the declining output in Africa’s second largest crude producer. The new gas decree now gives investors a specific legislative framework to explore, develop and sell natural gas for the first time in Angola.

Another legislative instrument issued in 2018 has improved the control mechanism for petroleum industry operations related to public tenders and procurement, thus bringing more efficiency to the entire value chain. All of these measures are positively impacting the business climate, and allowing the rekindling of investments in a sector that accounts for 95 percent of the country’s exports.

We have a strong relationship with Sonangol, built on a long-term basis through a relevant portfolio of different joint initiatives in the energy sector, from partnerships in oil and gas activities to the Luanda Refinery in the downstream sector to renewables opportunities. After the creation of the new agency, Sonangol will become an even more ideal partner for Eni in selecting new opportunities and transferring knowledge and experience. Eni is willing to share in the growth of Sonangol as an operator in Angola.

A step forward in this relationship is the recent agreement for the incorporation of Solenova Ltd, a joint controlled company set up to assess and develop renewable energy opportunities in Angola. The creation of this new company is consistent with the country’s energy strategy that establishes a target of 800 MW of installed renewable capacity by 2025, with a specific focus on utility scale solar projects.

Eni has been successful as an operator in Block 15/06 with the East and West Hub projects and Block Cabinda Norte. Will the company pursue further opportunities as an operator in the 2019 bidding round?

Eni is recognized worldwide as a leader in terms of exploration capability, thanks to an effective and successful approach of source value creation. The intention is to strengthen our position as a highly committed international oil company in Angola by increasing our percentage of operatorship in new offshore and onshore acreages, and leveraging our broad geological and geophysical competencies as well as proprietary technologies in finding attractive opportunities.

The recent exploration discoveries in Block 15/06, namely Kalimba, Afoxé, Agogo, Ndungu and Agidigbo represent a successful story for Eni. Leveraging its capability and proprietary technologies, Eni took significant risks and ultimately succeeded in finding oil resources. Our fast-tracked and phased development model is the key to bringing these discoveries on stream in a short time, thus enhancing the economic value of the initiative. The five discoveries together are estimated to contain up to 1.8 billion barrels of light oil in place with possible upside, and they further confirm the exploration potential of the block and the effectiveness of Eni’s exploration skills and proprietary technologies.