Angola Set To Eclipse Nigeria As Africa’s Largest Oil Producer

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Angola is set to dethrone Nigeria as Africa’s largest oil producer as a number of deep offshore oil projects are set to come on stream in the country. According to ratings firm Moody, the Central African nation is on the verge of boosting oil output to 2 million barrels a day by 2015. Nigeria produced an average of 1.9 million barrels a day of crude oil in 2013, according to Central Bank figures.

“Total’s (Aa1 negative) large ($16 billion) investment in the Kaombo oil project in ultra-deep waters off the coast of Angola (Ba3 positive) reaffirms Angola as a stable operating environment for international oil companies and stands to boost the Central African country’s oil production and is thus credit positive,” said  Aurelien Mali, VP-Senior Analyst, Moody’s in a note released last week.

Once operational in 2017, the Kaombo oil project will be the largest of several hydrocarbon projects currently underway in the Lower Congo Basin.  Kaombo has estimated reserves of 650 million barrels of oil and a projected daily output in the vicinity of 230,000 bpd.

A further 300,000 bpd is about to come on stream over the next 18 months from other projects in the basin.

One of them, CLOV – operated by Total in Block 17 – is expected to start extraction in May 2014 and will likely yield 160,000 bpd, according to Moody’s.

It will raise the output of Total – already the largest oil producer in Angola – above 700,000 bpd, constituting more than a third of national production.

The remaining 140,000 bpd will come from two projects in Block 15 operated by ENI and ESSO, where production is due to begin in 2015.

“Excluding Kaombo, these projects alone are likely to propel Angola’s total oil output to two million bpd by the end of 2015. Kaombo will ensure that production remains above 2 million bpd until 2020,” said Mali

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