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Executive Summary

Last Updated: June 7, 2019   |   Previous years
Summary  |  Notes  |  Background reference


  • Angola is the second–largest oil producer in Africa, following Nigeria. Angola’s economy depends heavily on hydrocarbon production, making its economy vulnerable to crude oil price swings. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the crude oil and natural gas sector accounted for about 30% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), 95% of total exports, and about 52% of total fiscal revenue in 2017.[1] The latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) country consultant report also states that real GDP growth is projected to be 2.25% in 2018, compared with a preliminary estimate of –0.8% in 2016. The IMF attributes the rebound in GDP growth to higher oil prices, increasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) production, and improved business sentiment.[2]

Sector organization

Recent updates

  • Sonangol, the national oil company, is undergoing an organizational restructuring, partly in response to the fall in oil prices in 2017 and the need to revitalize upstream investment. President João Lourenço is also looking to strengthen his political control and limit the influence of former President dos Santos and his allies. In November 2017, President Lourenço replaced Isabel dos Santos, his predecessor’s daughter, with Carlos Saturnino, who was previously dismissed from Sonangol’s board by Isabel dos Santos, as the head of Sonangol. Lourenço has also merged the Ministry of Petroleum and the Ministry of Mining and appointed Diamantino Azevedo as the head of the newly merged Ministry of Petroleum and Mining.[3]
  • President Lourenço also plans to create an independent regulatory body called the Agência Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos e Biocombustìveis (ANHB), which will be responsible for overseeing negotiations of production–sharing contracts with upstream investors. The ANHB will supplant Sonangol’s regulatory role as national concessionaire, leaving the company to focus solely on commercial activities.[4] Implementing the institutional changes requires an updated version of the Petroleum Activities Law to be passed and, once enacted, would most likely begin in early 2019.
  • Lourenço issued a number of decrees in May 2018 to attract investors and develop upstream resources. The decree regarding marginal fields reduced the petroleum production tax rate from 20% to 10% and has expanded the definition of a marginal field to include deepwater fields with reserves greater than 300 million barrels if the project’s internal rate of return (IRR) is less than 15%. A marginal field was previously defined as a field with reserves less than 300 million barrels.[5] A decree regarding exploration allows developmental zone boundaries to be redefined if a new discovery extends outside of the area and does not encroach on another contract area’s border. Another decree establishing the Natural Gas Framework allows foreign investors ownership rights to associated and non–associated gas reserves. Previously, Sonangol was the sole entity that held ownership rights to natural gas.[6]

Petroleum and other liquids exports

Exploration and production

  • Angola holds 9.5 billion barrels of proved crude oil reserves as of the beginning of 2018, according to the latest estimates from the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), up from 8.3 billion barrels in the previous year.[7]
  • As a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Angola agreed to a production cut in November 2016, capping their production at 1.67 million barrels per day (b/d). Angola has complied with OPEC’s crude oil production cuts since they took effect at the end of 2016.
  • Despite some new oil fields coming online, Angola’s total liquids production has remained relatively stagnant during the past few years, averaging approximately 1.78 million b/d from 2013 to 2017 (Figure 1). Angola’s flat production is the result of persistent technical problems related to water injection systems, natural gas cooling and floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) units associated with some projects. The technical problems have resulted in lengthy maintenance work and disruptions to production at some fields. Rapid reservoir depletion has also contributed to steep decline rates at some fields.
  • The Angolan government is looking to attract new investment and develop its hydrocarbon resources through Sonangol’s restructuring and legislative changes, but whether or not these changes will be sufficient in improving investor sentiment is unclear. In May 2017, Sonangol canceled the 2015 onshore licensing round that offered 10 blocks in the Lower Congo and Kwanza Basins, citing financial difficulties at the company and an unfavorable oil price climate.[8] In April 2018, Sonangol announced a bidding round for stakes in Blocks 20 and 21, which were originally owned by Cobalt but whose stakes were sold to Sonangol for $500 million in a negotiated settlement.[9] To relieve its debt burden with its contractors, Sonangol is also trying to reduce its stakes in Blocks 15/06, 31, and 32, and although it. Sonangol holds stakes higher than 20%, it is not the operator of those blocks. By reducing its stake, Sonangol hopes to reduce its exposure.[10]
Table 1. Producing oil projects, operators, and loading ports in Angola, 2018
Operator Partners Location Projects Crude streams Loading ports
BP Statoil, Sonangol, Marathon, CPCC Block 31 PSVM (Plutao, Saturno, Venus, Marte) Saturno PSVM FPSO
BP Sonangol, Sinopec, Dayuan Int'l Dev't Block 18 Greater Plutonio (Galio, Cromio, Paladio, Cobalto, Plutonio) Plutonio Plutonio FPSO
Chevron Sonangol, Total, Eni Block 0 – Area A offshore Takula, Malongo, Numbi, Mafumeira, Norte Cabinda Malongo Terminal
Chevron Sonangol, Total, Eni Block 0 – Area B offshore Bomboco, Kokongo, Lomba, N'Dola, Sanha Cabinda Malongo Terminal
Chevron Statoil, Sonangol, Marathon, CPCC Block 0 Mafumeira Sul Cabinda Malongo Terminal
Chevron Eni, Sonangol, Total, Galp Energia, SNPC Joint Dev’t Area between Congo Brazzaville and Angola Lianzi Lianzi Malongo Terminal
Chevron Eni, Sonangol, Total, Galp Energia Block 14 Kuto, BBLT (Beneguela, Belize, Lobito, Tomboco), Tombua–Landana Nemba Malongo Terminal
Eni Sonangol. Sonangol–Sinopec JV Block 15/06 West Hub phase 1 (Sangos, Mpungi, Cinguvu) Sangos N'Goma FPSO
Eni Sonangol. Sonangol–Sinopec JV Block 15/06 West Hub phase 2 (Ochifugu) Sangos N'Goma FPSO
Eni Sonangol. Sonangol–Sinopec JV Block 15/06 East Hub phase 1 (Cabaca Southeast) Olombendo Armada Olombendo FPSO
ExxonMobil BP, Eni, Statoil Block 15 Kizomba satellites phase 1 (Mavacola, Clochas) blended with Hungo & Kissanje Kizomba A & B FPSOs
ExxonMobil BP, Eni, Statoil Block 15 Kizomba satellites phase 2 (Kakocha, Bavuca, Mondo South) NA Kizomba B, Mondo FPSOs
ExxonMobil BP, Eni, Statoil Block 15 Kizomba A (Hungo, Chocalho) Hungo Kizomba A FPSO
ExxonMobil BP, Eni, Statoil Block 15 Kizomba B (Kissanje, Dikanza) Kissanje Kizomba B FPSO
ExxonMobil BP, Eni, Statoil Block 15 Kizomba C (Mondo, Saxi/Butuque) Mondo, Saxi/Batuque Mondo FPSO, Saxi/Batuque FPSOs
Total BP, Statoil, ExxonMobil Block 17 CLOV(Cravio, Lirio, Orquidea, Violeta) CLOV CLOV FPSO
Total BP, Statoil, ExxonMobil Block 17 Pazflor (Perpetua, Acacia, Zinia, Hortensia) Pazflor Pazflor FPSO
Total BP, Statoil, ExxonMobil Block 17 Dalia Dalia Dalia FPSO
Total BP, Statoil, ExxonMobil Block 17 Giraassol Giraassol Giraassol FPSO
Total BP, Statoil, ExxonMobil Block 17 Rosa Giraassol Giraassol FPSO
Total BP, Statoil, ExxonMobil Block 17 Jasmin Giraassol Giraassol FPSO
Total Galp Energia, ExxonMobil, Sonangol, Sonangol–Sinopec JV Block 32 Kaombo Norte (Gengibre, Gindungo, Caril) Gindungo Kaombo Norte FPSO
Somoil ACR, Kotoil, Falcon, Poliedro, Prodoil SARL Block 2/05 Block 2/05< Palanca Palanca Terminal
Sonangol Statoil, Somoil, ACR Block 4/05 Gimboa Gimboa Gimboa FPSO
Sonangol Eni, China Sonangol, Angola Japan Oil Co. Ltd., Somoil, INA, NIS Block 3/05 Bufalo, Palanca, Pacassa, Impala, Cobo, Pambi, Oombo, Cac-Gazela NA Palanca Terminal
Source: Business Monitor International Research, Energy Intelligence, www.offshore–technology.com, company fillings, Wood Mackenzie
  • Several oil projects have begun production and will help maintain or boost current production levels (Table 1). The first phase of the Kaombo deepwater project located in Block 32 came online in July 2018, adding 115,000 b/d of production. The Ochifugu field located in Block 15/06, also known as the second phase of the West Hub development, began production in March 2018, adding 25,000 b/d to production. The Cabaca Southeast field, located in Block 15/06 and also known as the first phase of the East Hub development, began production in February 2018, adding 54,000 b/d to production.
  • Angola also has a number of projects coming online during the next few years (Table 2). The Vandumbu and Cabaca North fields in Block 15/06, operated by Eni, and the second phase of the Kaombo deepwater project (Kaombo Sul), operated by Total, are expected to come online in 2019 and add more than 150,000 b/d to total production once peak production levels are reached. A final investment decision was reached in May 2018 regarding the Zinia 2 deepwater project, which is located in Block 17 and tied back to the Pazflor FPSO; the project will add an estimated 40,000 b/d to production.
  • Angola has several offshore and deepwater oil projects projected to come online during the next decade. However, project start times could be delayed if global crude oil prices drop or if legislative changes fail to improve the overall business climate. Because several of Angola’s older deepwater fields are past their peak production, the new capacity additions from the upcoming projects are more likely to sustain Angola’s crude oil production at or slightly higher than current levels during the medium term rather than provide a substantial boost.
Table 2. Upcoming oil projects in Angola
Project Operator Location FID
East Hub phase 2 (Cabaca North) Eni Block 15/06 Yes
Kaombo Sul Total Blcok 32 Yes
Zinia Phase 2 Total Block 17 Yes
Platina BP Block 18 West No, est. 2019
Block 31 West Phase 2 BP Blcok 31 No
Future Saxi Tiebacks ExxonMobil   No, est. 2018
Gabela Chevron   No
Malange Chevron Block 13 No
Kizomba A – Reco Reco ExxonMobil Block 15 No
Kizomba B – Mbulumbumba ExxonMobil Block 15 No
Lucapa Chevron Block 14 No
Longui Chevron Block 0 No
Chesio BP Block 18 West No, est. 2019
Chumbo BP Block 18 West No, est. 2019
Salsa Total Block 32 No
Source: Business Monitor International Research, wwww.offshore-technology.com, company filings

Refining and refined oil products

  • Angola’s total nameplate refining capacity was 379,000 b/d in 2018. (Table 3). Angola is planning to expand its refining capacity further, but the expansion projects have faced significant delays.
Table 3. Refineries in Angola, 2018
Refinery name Location Status Nameplate capacity (b/d)
Luanda Luanda Active 65,000
Sonaref Lobito Postponed 200,000
Soyo Zaire Postponed 110,000
Malongo Cabinda Active 4,000
Total     379,000
Source: Business Monitor International Research Service, International Energy Agency, Newsbase

Petroleum and other liquids exports

  • In 2017, Angola exported about 1.55 million b/d of crude oil, most of which went to the Asia–Pacific region (Figure 2). China received the largest share of Angola’s exports, at approximately 930,000 b/d, followed by India, which imported about 140,000 b/d.[11] Angola was the second–largest supplier of crude oil to China in 2017, following Saudi Arabia. In 2017, the United States imported 129,000 b/d of crude oil from Angola.[12]

Natural gas

Exploration and production

  • Angola holds an estimated 10.9 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proved natural gas reserves, according to the latest Oil & Gas Journal estimates for January 1, 2018.[13]
  • Angola produces small quantities of marketed natural gas, but most of its production is flared as a by–product of oil operations or is reinjected into oil fields to increase oil recovery. According to Cedigaz data, gross natural gas production in Angola was 413 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 2016, of which 254 Bcf was vented and flared, 88 Bcf was reinjected, and 60 Bcf was marketed (Figure 3).[14]

Natural gas exports

  • In 2017, LNG exports significantly increased to 177 Bcf and reflected much more diverse destination countries and regions. India and the Middle East received the largest shares of natural gas exports in terms of volume, receiving 48 Bcf each. China, Brazil, and South Korea also significantly increased their LNG imports from Angola from the previous year (Figure 4).[15]

Energy consumption

  • According to the latest estimates, in 2016, 77% of Angola’s primary energy consumption was petroleum and other liquids. Other major fuel sources consumed were natural gas and traditional solid biomass and waste (Figure 5). Angola does not have any nuclear capacity nor does it use coal for primary energy consumption.[16]


  • In 2016, Angola generated 10 billion kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity primarily from hydroelectric or fossil fuel sources.[17] The latest estimate from the International Energy Agency indicates that only 35% of Angolans had access to electricity in 2016, leaving 17 million people without access, mostly in rural areas.[18] Problems affecting the electricity sector include insufficient power generation, limited revenue collection (more than 80% of users are not metered), and the lack of highly skilled workers to manage the electricity sector.[19]
  • The Soyo combined–cycle natural gas turbine (CCGT) plant added 750 megawatts (MW) of total installed capacity in 2017 after plant construction and the connecting pipeline from Angola LNG to the power plant were completed. The Soyo CCGT plant provides an opportunity for Angola to diversify its power infrastructure and to channel some of its natural gas production toward electricity generation. Discussions on expanding the Soyo plant to add another 500 MW of generation have been reported, but no concrete plans have been established.[20]

Renewables Energy Sources


  • Two major hydropower projects, the Cambembe expansion and the Laúca hydroelectric dam, have added substantial hydropower electricity to the country’s total installed capacity. The second phase of the Cambembe hydropower plant, which consisted of a 180 MW expansion and four new turbines, was completed in June 2017, adding 700 MW of installed capacity. In July 2017, the Laúca hydropower plant brought online the first of six 340 MW turbines; the Laúca hydropower plant is expected to be completed by 2018 and provide 2,070 MW of additional installed capacity.[22]
  • The Caculo Cabaça hydropower plant is also under development. Construction at the 2,170 MW hydropower plant started in July 2017 after funding was secured from China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd. at an estimated $4.5 billion. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.[23]


  • In response to stakeholder feedback, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has revised the format of the Country Analysis Briefs. As of December 2018, updated briefs are available in two complementary formats: the Country Analysis Executive Summary provides an overview of recent developments in a country’s energy sector and the Background Reference provides historical context. Archived versions will remain available in the original format.
  • Data presented in the text are the most recent available as of January 16, 2019.
  • Data are EIA estimates unless otherwise noted.


  1. 2018 African Economic Outlook: Angola,” African Development Bank Group, pg. 2, accessed 6/13/2018.
  2. “Sonangol: Government Drivers,” IHS Markit, April 2018.
  3. “Worldwide Look at Reserves and Production,” Oil & Gas Journal, Worldwide Report [Table], December 4, 2017, pg. 21.
  4. “Angola’s new president asserts oil sector leadership with moves to improve IOC relations,” IHS Markit, October 27, 2017. “Sonangol: Government Drivers,” IHS Markit, April 2018. “Angola considers depper, more challenging road to oil reform,” IHS Markit, February 12, 2018.
  5. Stephan Eisenhammer. “Angola cuts tax rates for development of marginal oil fields,” Reuters, May 21, 2018. “Angola Oil: Presidential decrees further brighten growth prospects offshore,” IHS MarkitStrategic Horizons , July 12, 2018.
  6. Stephan Eisenhammer. “Angola cuts tax rates for development of marginal oil fields,” Reuters, May 21, 2018. “Angola Oil: Presidential decrees further brighten growth prospects offshore,” IHS Markit Strategic Horizons, July 12, 2018.
  7. “Worldwide Look at Reserves and Production,” Oil & Gas Journal, Worldwide Report [Table], December 4, 2017, pg. 21.
  8. “Angola Oil & Gas Report, Q2 2018,” BMI Research, pg. 7.
  9. Angola Opens Bids for Cobalt’s Former Oil Blocks,” E&P Magazine, April 20, 2018. “Angola’s Sonangol says settled dispute with Cobalt International Energy,” Reuters News Agency, December 19, 2017.
  10. “Dividends lead Sonangol to sell stakes in blocks,” Afroil Issue 746, Newsbase Research, July 17, 2018, pg. 17.
  11. ClipperData statistical database (vessel tracking database), accessed July 2, 2018.
  12. U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics.
  13. “Worldwide Look at Reserves and Production,” Oil & Gas Journal, Worldwide Report [Table], December 4, 2017, pg. 21.
  14. Cedigaz Statistical Database, accessed 6/14/2018.
  15. BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy. Joe Matthews and Andres Rojas. “Angola LNG: Plant reaches production milestone,” LNG Insight, IHS Markit, September 28, 2017.
  16. International Energy Agency, World Energy Statistics database, accessed 7/9/2018.
  17. US Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics Database.
  18. International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook: Electricity access database, (2017).
  19. African Development Bank, Power Sector Reform Support Program: Angola, (April 2014), page 7.
  20. “Angola Power Report, Q2 2018,” BMI Research, January 2018, pg. 9. “Angola – Energy,” www.export.gov, June 22, 2017, accessed 6/11/2018.
  21. Angola inaugurates Plant II of the Cambembe Hydroelectric Facility,” www.macauhub.com, June 30, 2017.
  22. Angola’s Lauca dam starts producing power,” African Review of Business and Technology, July 28, 2017.