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requirements, a lack of qualified personnel, and the challenging local higher education system. Improvement may come as a result of the training programmes that are required of all international oil companies that do business in Angola, but again it will take time. If the skills base is not suffi-


ciently augmented, it will be difficult for the regulatory regime to act upon the increased risks related to deepwater activity and ageing assets. This would place the responsibility of ensuring adequate offshore safety firmly with the operators themselves. Improved procedures, standards, better monitoring and risk management are then dependent on individual operators, who are expected to work in line with their corporate and global best practices, but not within a uniform framework. This potential lack of alignment could have long-term consequences for the industry.


Total presence


Among the oil majors, Total has the longest presence in Angola. Its activities date back to 1953.


However, the pace didn’t really pick up until the early 2000s, after the civil war came to an end, first with the Mirassol field (in Block 17 - the so-called Golden Block) in 2001, followed at virtually three-year intervals by Rosa, Dalia, Pazflor and, most recently, the CLOV (Cravo, Lirio, Orquidea and Violeta) fields. On behalf of Sonangol, Total


started developing the CLOV fields in 2010, alongside Statoil (23.33%), ExxonMobil (20%) and BP (16.67%). It is the fourth project undertaken on this particularly bountiful block. The project saw the deployment


In recent


years oil has accounted for most of the nation’s GDP and between 90-95% of exports


of 34 subsea wells at depths of 1,100-1,400m connected to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) platform, which processes two qualities of oil from the Oligocene and Miocene sedimentary beds. The CLOV fields entered production in June 2014, with capacity of 160,000 bpd. Block 32, the successor to the


Golden Block, will be the home of the Kaombo project, which is expected to enter production in 2017. The block is distinguished by smaller, more widely scattered reservoirs lying in water depths of up to 2,200m. Total states extraction and production has only become possible thanks to recent innova- tions in seismic acquisition and imaging, along with advances in subsea equipment. The Kaombo project showcases the use of ‘hybrid loop’ technology


to transport fluids. The project entails production from several oil deposits scattered among the Gindungo, Gengibre, Canela, Mostarda, Louro, and Caril fields in the central and southeastern sections of the ultra-deep offshore block, covering an area of 800km2 and water depths between 1,400-1,950m. The development plan also involves the the conver- sion of two Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) into turret moored FPSO vessels, connected to one of the biggest subsea networks in the world covering an area of 600km2 and each producing 115,000 bpd. Preparing for the post-Block 32


era, Total acquired interests in exploration licences in the South Atlantic Kwanza Basin. The target reservoirs are located under a thick layer of salt and will require high-tech investments. Total hopes that exploration of this pre-salt play will lead to giant discoveries such as those made offshore Brazil in similar geological formations. In Angola, Total is obligated to


help drive local economic develop- ment, as is a common requirement of major oil companies exploiting hydrocarbons in developing nations. Locals currently make up about three-quarters of the work- force. This presents challenges, shaped by gaps in infrastructure and skills, and to address the latter, the Total is spending $17 million annually on training.


39


ANGOLA AWRY


For a decade Angola was the wunderkind of sub-Saharan oil production, however the country has become victim to the collapse in oil prices Words: Kevin Tester


90-95%


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