Angola’s premier event for the oil and gas sector – the Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) conference and exhibition – kicked off to an electric start in Luanda on Wednesday, with the African Energy Chamber’s (AEC) Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk declaring that “this is an exciting time for Angolan oil and natural gas.”
The conference takes place under the theme, ‘Energy Security, Decarbonization and Sustainable Development,’ and is a platform for investment, engagement and policy strategy. Several keynote addresses were delivered by regional energy and petroleum ministers as well as both Angolan and international energy firms. Among these was an address by the AEC’s Ayuk, who emphasized how Angola’s oil and gas resources can be monetized for energy security as well as the facilitation of the country’s energy transition.
“The AEC has been particularly pleased to watch the path Angola has been taking to drive its energy industry forward. Since taking office in 2017, President Lourenço has committed to strengthening and enhancing Angola’s oil and gas sector while enriching the lives of Angola’s people. Just one year into his administration, the President enacted legal reforms to restructure state oil company Sonangol; establish the National Agency for Oil, Gas and Biofuels and introduce an enabling framework to maximize the value of Angolan gas.”
Ayuk highlighted how these strategic measures have grown the Angolan oil and gas sector. In 2023, the country represents one of the biggest oil producers on the continent, with a rapidly developing natural gas industry and an evolving renewable energy market. While output has been gradually declining due to ageing oilfields, Ayuk stated that, “the country is taking steps to boost production, with a goal of scaling up to 1.3 million barrels per day and stabilizing [output] at that level.”
This is being achieved through policies to attract international investment and the opening of licensing rounds. However, Angola’s hydrocarbon market is also being driven through advancements across the gas industry. According to Ayuk, “Angola is also pursuing ambitious initiatives to develop its natural gas sector. Angola holds 27 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, a largely untapped wealth of resources that offers a path towards employment opportunities and a bridge to a just energy transition and a route out of energy poverty.”
Amidst the significant economic potential that gas brings, a slew of impactful projects have been initiated. One of the most notable is the formation of the New Gas Consortium, which Ayuk described as “an exciting new partnership.” This consortium leverages the expertise of esteemed partners such as Chevron, Eni, Sonangol, bp, TotalEnergies, and more, and it oversees a robust portfolio of projects. These include the development of the Quiluma and Maboqueiro gas fields, along with other ongoing initiatives like the Angola Liquefied Natural Gas project, the 750MW Soyo II combined-cycle power plant, the Falcão Natural Gas Project, and numerous additional ventures.
Aside from spurring industrialization and economic expansion, Ayuk emphasized that Angola is firmly committed to establishing the groundwork for a gradual shift towards renewable energy. This transition is intended to be equitable and sustainable, ensuring it optimizes benefits for the nation’s population. He further underscored that this transition builds upon a consistently robust oil and gas sector. By maximizing revenue generation from offshore oil reserves, Angola aims to amass significant resources for bolstering its economy and further investing in renewable energy initiatives.
In addition to revenue, oil and gas will unlock new opportunities for skills and technology transfer; improve access to high-quality fuels; reduce energy poverty and, according to Ayuk, “eventually achieve a just and sustainable energy transition that makes renewable and low-carbon forms of energy both abundant and easily accessible to all Angolans.”
Taking place over two days in Luanda from 13-14 September, AOG 2023 unites regional energy leaders, national and international oil company executives, and global financiers and players for series of keynotes, panel discussions, deal-signing ceremonies, networking session, and exhibitions. The conference is held under the auspices of Minister Diamantino and in partnership with the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency, AIDAC, and the African Energy Chamber.