Total’s New Oil Project, CLOV May Make Angola Africa’s Top Oil Producer

Angola Oil Production
Angola is emerging as an energy and economic giant in Africa

AFRICANGLOBE – Total SA will decide whether to proceed with the Kaombo oil project offshore Angola by mid-2014, the same time as it plans to start pumping from the CLOV fields that may help push the country ahead of Nigeria as Africa’s largest crude producer.

Feasibility studies are under way for the 600-million-barrel Kaombo site in Block 32, which is expected to produce 200,000 barrels a day after its scheduled start by mid-2017, Jean-Michel Lavergne, the local unit’s general manager, told reporters yesterday in Porto Amboim, Angola, 260 kilometers (162 miles) south of the capital, Luanda. He was leading a tour of the first floating production, storage and offloading vessel to be finished in Angola with local labor.

The $10 billion CLOV project in Block 17 will produce 160,000-barrels-a-day, helping Angola achieve a target of 2 million barrels a day by 2015 and rival Nigeria as the continent’s leading producer. Paris-based Total, which pumps the most crude in Angola, is among companies such as Chevron Corp, BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp being urged by the state to use more Angolans in an industry that employs just 1 percent of nationals while accounting for nearly all exports.

“One third of current Angolan oil is produced by Total,” Lavergne said. “We want to help young Angolans to obtain quality education so that they can have decent jobs with good salaries,” Lavergne said.

Angola pumped 1.71 million barrels a day in October compared with 1.99 million barrels a day by Nigeria, according to oil data. Cobalt Energy International Co.’s Cameia, Mavinga and Lontra projects will further boost the country’s output, Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said in a Nov. 7 interview. Total currently pumps about 600,000 barrels a day in Angola, according to company documents.

Local Hiring

The company plans to drill two wells next year in Blocks 25 and 40, Lavergne said. Each well reaching 6 kilometers below sea level will cost $120 million, he said.

Total spent $1.6 billion in Angola on CLOV, hires 100 nationals each year and will invest $4 million in the Porto Amboim community, Lavergne said. Total is increasing the number of Angolans on its staff to 76 percent this year from 68 percent in 2006 and half the managers will be locals, Lavergne said in a June interview.

CLOV, which stands for the fields Cravo, Lirio, Orquidea, and Violeta, has 34 sub-sea wells at depths of 1.1 to 1.4 kilometers located 140 kilometers northwest of Luanda and is estimated to hold 505 million barrels of crude, company documents show.

Biggest Crane

The 305-meter (1,000-foot) long CLOV FPSO, as it’s known, will be christened Dec. 5 at the Paenal Porto Amboim Estaleiros Navais fabrication yard at Porto Amboim, Lavergne said yesterday. A Paenel crane, Africa’s largest, added final units to the $2 billion ship constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine and Engineering Co. in South Korea.

The FPSO can store 1.78 million barrels of oil and process 160,000 barrels a day. It will produce two types of oil: 32-35 degree American Petroleum Institute gravity, which is considered light oil, from the Cravo and Liro fields, and 20-30 degree API medium-weight-oil from Orquidea and Violeta, the company said.

A crane called Jamba with capacity to lift 2,500 metric tons was installed in June at Paenal to work on the 119,000-ton CLOV FPSO, N’goma FPSO for Exxon Mobil and the Mafumeira Sul project for Chevron. Crews manufactured 7,700 tons of equipment for the CLOV ship and installed units on its deck including a water treatment module, company documents show.

After Girassol, Dalia, and Pazflor, CLOV is the fourth deep-water project to be undertaken on the block operated by Total with a 40 percent share. Partners include Statoil ASA (STL) with 23.3 percent, Exxon Mobil with 20 percent and BP at 16.7 percent.


By Manuel Soque & Colin McClelland