Defining Deepwater Capability

ExxonMobil conducts business in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, and we have been present in Africa for more than 120 years. For more than 25 years, we have been an investor in Angola as an operator in Block 15 and partners in Block 17 and 32. Over this period, we have invested over $30 billion and built a strong foundation in the country. We are celebrating 25 years as operators of Block 15 since the signing of an agreement in 1994. Since 2003, Block 15 has produced over 2.2 billion barrels of oil and continues to produce about 230,000 barrels per day. Today, Angola is the face of ExxonMobil deep water capability. Our success in Block 15 has been underpinned by a highly capable in-country team, strong safety culture, efficient and low-cost operation and reliable volumes delivery. This success would not be possible without the support of the government and the national concessionaire over the years.

We are also proud of our social projects focusing on health, education, women, family, agriculture and the environment. Since 2003, we have contributed more than $100 million to community projects that promote positive change in communities throughout Angola. We support the strategic and coordinated restructuring efforts, governance models and policy measures that promote continuous investment, support the safe and efficient conduct of upstream operations and improve overall performance in the industry. In this regard, we welcome the leadership of H.E. President João Lourenço in promoting government and industry collaboration in late 2017, which through the task force, resulted in much-needed legislative changes and improved the business climate. Under the leadership of H.E. Minister Diamantino Azevedo, industry operators in coordination with the new petroleum and gas agency and other agencies are now targeting improved contracting efficiency and enhanced fiscals, which is leading to new exploration. These are steps in the right direction and we look forward to building on existing collaboration to promote further investment in Angola.

Angola is now a mature oil site, so maximizing recovery of discovered resources and pursuit of new exploration activity are critical to help arrest decline and rejuvenate the Angolan oil sector. In addition to production optimization and use of technology, coordinated efforts from the operators, the government and the national concessionaire are essential to achieve more efficient operations and greater collaboration to ensure the local industry is able to compete globally. There is increased competition among governments and investment capital and value-added technology. It is worth studying how regulators and other mature oil sites around the world continue to adjust tax regimes and agreements to fit the progression of maturity in the changing business environment.

We know that sustained oil and gas production is critical to supporting Angola’s national development plan and economic diversification. We are confident that the government’s actions aimed at improving the business climate, enhancing competition and promoting transparency will encourage further investment, create jobs and stimulate business activity in the entire economy. We are interested in a wide variety of opportunities in Angola both onshore and offshore, and we look forward to working with the National Oil, Gas and Biofuel Agency (ANPG) to progress opportunities in our existing operated and non-operated blocks to extract additional production. We are very excited about the partnership to move into frontier exploration in Angola and the opportunity to bring our proven expertise and advanced technology. We are committed to playing a key role in Angola’s economic recovery and its future success, and we look forward to working with the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, ANPG and Sonangol to identify and progress globally competitive opportunities and win-win solutions for Angola and its investors. As proven over the past 25 years, the government, the national concessionaire and ExxonMobil can be successful in creating and sharing value and bringing prosperity for Angola and its people.

*This article was originally published in Africa Energy Series: Angola 2019.