Angola’s Natural Gas Drive: A Game-Changer for Africa’s Energy Sector

In a significant leap forward, Angola is transforming its natural gas industry, setting the stage for substantial growth and development in Africa’s energy sector.

Natural Gas

In a significant leap forward, Angola is transforming its natural gas industry, setting the stage for substantial growth and development in Africa’s energy sector. Driven by new explorations, strategic partnerships, and robust investments, Angola is not only enhancing its energy infrastructure but also positioning itself as a key player in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. This momentum is a testament to the country’s commitment to harnessing its natural resources to foster economic development and reduce energy poverty.

Major Developments in Angola’s Natural Gas Fields

One of the most noteworthy developments in Angola’s natural gas industry is the progress at the Quiluma and Maboqueiro gas fields in the Lower Congo Basin. In August 2022, Saipem, an Italian multinational oilfield services company, was awarded three engineering, procurement, and construction contracts worth a combined US$900 million for both onshore and offshore work. These contracts are part of a broader initiative led by the New Gas Consortium (NGC), a coalition that includes major industry players such as ENI, TotalEnergies, bp, Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, and Angola’s own Sonangol. The NGC expects production to begin in 2026, with an estimated output of four billion cubic meters (bcm) of LNG per year.

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A Welcoming Environment for Investment

Angola’s burgeoning success in the natural gas sector is underpinned by a favorable investment climate fostered by its leadership. Despite its status as sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest oil producer, Angola is pushing to increase its output beyond the current 1.1 million barrels per day of crude oil. This drive is evident in ExxonMobil’s deepwater discovery at the Kizomba B area in Block 15, where partners Azule Energy, Equinor, and Sonangol are making significant investments.

President João Lourenço’s administration has been pivotal in creating a conducive environment for these developments. Since taking office in 2017, Lourenço has focused on strengthening Angola’s oil and gas sector, promoting transparency, and attracting foreign investment. His reappointment of Diamantino Pedro Azevedo as Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum, and Gas is a clear indication of his commitment to sustaining momentum in the sector.

Strategic International Partnerships

International cooperation has been a cornerstone of Angola’s strategy. In 2023, a meeting between President Lourenço and U.S. President Joe Biden resulted in the declaration of Angola as a strategic partner and the announcement of significant U.S. investments in photovoltaic power systems for southern Angola. This partnership exemplifies Lourenço’s vision of fostering international relationships to secure future business opportunities and enhance energy infrastructure.

Expanding Infrastructure and Reducing Emissions

Angola’s ambition extends beyond production. The Angola LNG Project, a joint venture led by Chevron and Sonangol, processes 1.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, significantly reducing gas flaring and greenhouse gas emissions. In Cabinda, Sonangol is modernizing its facilities to triple the capacity of gas filling, increasing regional gas availability by 28%.

Furthermore, the 750 MW Soyo II combined-cycle power plant, set to be operational next year, will boost electricity access across the country by nearly 20% through gas-to-power generation. The Falcão Natural Gas Project is another significant initiative, aimed at producing fertilizer locally, reducing reliance on imports, and lowering agricultural costs.

Path to a Sustainable Future

Angola’s comprehensive energy strategy includes preparations for a low-carbon economy. President Lourenço’s master plan involves expanding refining and storage facilities, developing photovoltaic power plants, and producing green hydrogen. These initiatives are designed to ensure a sustainable energy transition while maintaining economic growth.

Angola’s dynamic natural gas drive is reshaping the continent’s energy landscape. The strategic initiatives and investments in the sector not only promise to boost the local economy and create job opportunities but also provide a pathway towards energy independence and sustainability. The African Energy Chamber celebrates these achievements, encouraging other African nations to follow Angola’s trailblazing path towards a prosperous and energy-secure future.

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