In countries with weak governance institutions, natural resource wealth tends to be a curse instead of a blessing. Where citizens are relatively powerless to hold ruling elites to account, resource wealth undermines development prospects.
On the contrary, where citizens are able to exert constraints on executive power, resource wealth can generate development that benefits ordinary citizens.
Development scholar Richard Auty first coined the term ‘resource curse’ in the early 1990s. He used the phrase to describe the puzzling phenomenon of resource wealthy countries failing to industrialise. Manifestations of the ‘curse’ now range from widespread corruption to civil war to deepening authoritarian rule.
Literature on the resource curse has done an adequate job of describing the general nature of the relationship between resource dependence and underdevelopment. It now needs to focus on understanding specific manifestations.
In my latest book, I detail what these are in relation to oil in Nigeria and Angola, sub-Saharan Africa’s two largest oil producers.
My book shows that the resource curse manifests differently in different contexts.
Why does this matter?
If governance interventions are to be useful, it’s important to understand the context. Otherwise, policy interventions won’t gain traction. If political dynamics play a determinative role in long-run economic outcomes, we must understand them better.
Two countries, two stories
In 2018, Angola’s fuel exports constituted 92.4% of the country’s total exports. Oil rents – the difference between the price of oil and the average cost of producing – accounted for 25.6% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2019 the country ranked 148th out of 189 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index.
Nigeria’s oil exports in 2018 were 94.1% of total exports, oil rents amounted to 9% of GDP. In 2019 it ranked 161st on the human development index . As is clear from the graph above, sub-Saharan Africa’s major oil producers are clustered around the lower end of the human development spectrum and are mostly autocratic.
Both Nigeria and Angola have been characterised by one form or another of autocratic rule for most of their post-independence histories. Autocracy invariably undermines a country’s development prospects.
But why does oil fuel the consolidation of autocratic rule in one context, but not necessarily in another?
It all comes down to how the leader of the ruling coalition extracts and distributes the oil rents. In my book, I employ a game theory model developed by Princeton political scientist Milan Svolik to explain these divergent political outcomes.
Jose Eduardo dos Santos came to power in 1979 as served as president until 2017, grabbing power early and repeatedly. Svolik’s model predicts that rulers who can do this at the same time as limiting the probability of a coup being against them manage to entrench their rule.
Within six years, dos Santos had consolidated power. He eliminated internal threats by subverting power sharing institutions and purging key individuals. For instance, in 1984 the central committee of the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) – created a ‘defence and security council’, chaired by dos Santos. As I note in the book, it became an inner cabinet, “effectively eclipsing the Political Bureau as the country’s top decision-making body”.
A year later, dos Santos dropped Lúcio Lara, the party’s stalwart intellectual, from the Political Bureau, thus removing the last potential threat to his rule. Simultaneously, he used the extensive oil rents at his disposal – and the cover of civil war – to either co-opt or eliminate opposition.
He did so by ensuring that the state oil firm, Sonangol, was proficiently run. It soon became Angola’s shadow state through its vast web of subsidiaries. After the civil war - 1975 to 2002 - Sonangol became the driver of (limited) development, but also the key distributor of patronage to cement dos Santos’s power. He not only bled it to enrich his family dynasty; he also used it to appease his inner circle.
Dos Santos ended up ruling for 38 years. But, his key strategic mistake was placing his children in plum Sonangol positions ahead of loyalists.
In 2017, João Lourenço, a former Defence Minister, became the new Angolan president. Dos Santos was to remain head of the MPLA until 2022. But, he was ousted through what was essentially a bloodless coup in 2018, engineered by his former loyalists like Manuel Vicente, the long-standing former head of Sonangol.
The Politburo appointed Lourenço president of the MPLA. He has since purged the dos Santos children from plum positions. Angola is still heavily dominated by the ruling MPLA, though. Prospects for a more competitive political settlement appear limited.
The case of Nigeria
Within six years of independence from Britain on 1 October 1960, the military launched a coup. This initiated a long period of military rule. Seven coups occurred between 1966 and 1993. Military rule was largely uninterrupted from 1966 to 1999.
But neither the coups nor the civil war were driven by oil.
Oil wealth only became a major factor in Nigeria’s political economy in the early 1970s, when the price rocketed as a result of the global supply crisis. Windfall oil wealth exacerbated the preexisting fragility. The state run oil firm, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, was inefficient compared to Sonangol. Nonetheless, it served as the country’s cash cow, milked to extend patronage.
But, unlike in Angola, no aspirant Nigerian autocrat was able to monopolise personal control over the national oil company. As I detail in the book, oil exacerbated fragility in Nigeria. While Angola’s dos Santos maintained a stable bargain among elites, Nigeria’s balance of power remained precarious.
In 1975, another military coup toppled Yakubu Gowon who had ruled Nigeria through the civil war. Murtala Muhammed came to power but was assassinated in a coup attempt six months later, which brought Olusegun Obasanjo to power in 1976. Obasanjo guided a transition to civilian rule in 1979 but this only lasted four years.
A 1983 coup brought current President Muhammadu Buhari to power and another ousted him two years later. Ibrahim Babangida then ruled until 1993. After a brief attempt at civilian rule, Sani Abacha came to power through yet another coup that same year. He died in office in 1998. His successor, Abdulsalami Abubakar, returned the country to civilian rule a year later.
Former military ruler Obasanjo – who had been imprisoned by Abacha – won the 1999 elections but attempted to grab a third term as president in 2006. Despite alleged oil-funded bribery to lobby party members to support his cause, they held fast to the constitution’s term limits.
The importance of that moment cannot be overstated. It has resulted in a more open and competitive political settlement in Nigeria. Maintaining constitutional term limits can stop autocratic entrenchment in its tracks. Unfortunately, this has not guaranteed stability in Nigeria. Post-2015 fragility has deepened considerably.
Where to from here?
As my book shows, oil rents grease the wheels of political dynamics very differently in Angola and Nigeria.
Existing explanations for different manifestations range from ethnic fragmentation, inherited colonial structures, the role of foreign actors and how lootable the oil is.
More attention now needs to be paid to how aspirant autocrats use natural resource rents to accumulate power for themselves. This can lead to policy practitioners developing an early warning system that may help citizens to nip power-grabs in the bud.
This may serve, in conjunction with other policy interventions, to ultimately reverse the curse.
Angola has asked a Dutch court to hand over a half-billion-dollar stake in the Portuguese oil company Galp linked to ex-first daughter Isabel Dos Santos, its lawyers told Reuters.
Angola’s government says top officials under former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos took advantage of high oil prices in the last decade to spin a global web of business deals that led to their personal enrichment at the country’s expense.
Battered by COVID-19 economic fallout and mired in foreign debt, Angola is seeking to recover assets it says were siphoned off.
Its prime focus is Isabel dos Santos, the ex-president’s daughter, a business tycoon who became Africa’s richest woman.
The legal bid for the Galp stake has not previously been reported.
Dos Santos briefly ran state oil company Sonangol from 2016 until 2017, when her father’s four-decade rule ended.
Representatives for Isabel dos Santos, who lives outside Angola, did not reply to a Reuters request for comment.
She has denied any connection to the holding company at the centre of the case - Exem - which she says was owned by her late husband, rejects charges of wrongdoing and says she faces a political witch hunt by Angola’s new leadership.
Representatives of Exem did not reply to a request for comment. Dutch law firm Van Doorne, which represents Exem in the lawsuit, also did not respond to a request for comment.
The legal claim by Sonangol is due to be heard in the last week of May in the Amsterdam court of appeal, the 100%-state owned company’s lawyer Emmanuel Gaillard of law firm Shearman & Sterling said.
It will argue that Exem’s stake was acquired through embezzlement and money laundering.
“It’s all corruption ... you (Exem) owe us the shares, the indirect participation in Galp, because it’s theft. It’s illegal, therefore you have to pay it back,” Gaillard said.
Sonangol’s lawyers say the sale by Sonangol of part of its stake in Esperaza to Exem made no business sense for Angola and was made to enrich the former first family.
Under President Dos Santos, Sonangol sold a 40% stake in an offshore holding company, Esperaza, to another holding company - Exem - owned by Isabel’s husband Sindika Dokolo, a Congolese businessman who died in a diving accident last year.
Esperaza, in which Sonangol retained a 60% stake, in turn partnered with the business empire of Portugal’s Amorim family to form yet another holding company, Amorim Energia, which is the largest shareholder in Portuguese oil company Galp Energia with a 33.3% stake.
The value of holding company Exem’s indirect stake in Galp fluctuates with oil prices and is currently worth about $500 million.
A source with knowledge of the Amorim family’s position, who declined to be named, said its main interlocutor in the joint stake was not Exem but Sonangol, calling their partnership with the state firm “good and close”.
“(The case) does not affect these relations, it does not change anything”, the source added.
A representative of Esperaza did not respond to a request for comment.
Galp has said it has no dealings with Dos Santos. It declined further comment for this story.
The dispute, which is being heard in Amsterdam after both sides agreed on arbitration, already resulted in a ruling last September that removed Exem’s representative from Esperaza’s board and put its stake under the control of a court-appointed trustee.
Angola is looking for ways to fight a surge in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, the Great Lakes region and other areas along its coast.
Secretary of State for the External Relations Esmeralda Mendonca said the growing maritime crime problem is endangering the region from a national, international and regional point of view.
Mendonca wants more government funding to fight piracy and terrorism and stressed that if the member states of the region have concerted actions to tackle maritime piracy, they will contribute to the security and development of the region.
“It is in this perspective that Angola, as the headquarters of the Gulf of Guinea in Luanda, attaches great importance to this organization, as the maritime spaces have to be controlled.”
Any effort to reduce piracy in the region will certainly be appreciated by the world’s major shipping companies, who collectively, urge West African nations to do more to secure the waters.
More than 20,000 vessels use the Gulf of Guinea every year. Fringed by an almost 4,000-mile-long shoreline that stretches from Senegal to Angola, it serves as the main thoroughfare for crude oil exports and imports of refined fuel and other goods. Its size and the high number of ships in the area present a challenge for under-resourced governments that have to police the area.
The International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre says attacks on vessels globally jumped 20% last year to 195, with 135 crew kidnapped. The Gulf of Guinea accounted for 95% of hostages taken in 22 separate instances, and all three of the hijackings that occurred, the agency said.
The attacks have pushed up insurance and other costs for shippers operating off West Africa, with some resorting to hiring escort vessels manned by armed navy personnel. A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, which transports about 15% of the globe’s seaborne freight, said decisive action needs to be taken.
“It is unacceptable in this day and age that seafarers cannot perform their jobs of ensuring a vital supply chain for this region without having to worry about the risk of piracy,” said Aslak Ross, head of marine standards at Copenhagen-based Maersk. “The risk has reached a level where effective military capacity needs to be deployed.”
Many shipowners favor a more muscular international effort modeled on the military response to hijackings offshore Somalia, which was the global epicenter of piracy from about 2001 to 2012. Armed guards and warships dispatched by the European Union, NATO and a U.S.-led task force to protect vessels traveling through the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest trade routes linking Europe to Asia, helped bring the problem under control.
The number of violent attacks in the Gulf of Guinea has remained fairly consistent over the past decade, but abductions of more than 10 people have become increasingly commonplace, said Dirk Siebels, senior analyst at Denmark-based Risk Intelligence.
The pirates are increasingly operating deeper out to sea, with kidnappings on average taking place 60 nautical miles offshore in 2020, according to the IMB. The furthest out took place in mid-July, when eight machine-gun wielding pirates boarded a chemical tanker off Nigeria’s coast and seized 13 crew members before fleeing. Only unqualified seamen remained on the Curacao Trader, which was left adrift 195 nautical miles from the coast. The crew were freed the following month.
“The perpetrators of such incidents are perfectly aware there is almost no risk of being caught,” said Munro Anderson, a partner at London-based maritime security firm Dryad Global. “That is precisely the kind of incident an international naval coalition could mitigate.”
Credit: Bloomberg / Xinhua / CGTN Africa
Angola is expected to set oil production at one million and 267 thousand barrels per day in 2021, reducing it's production by 261,000 barrels per day as indicated on OPEC adjustment table in the meeting held on 3 December in Vienna, Austria.
If the country's production grows, it cannot exceed this maximum (1.528mb/d).
With the cuts planned for all Opec members in 2021, world oil production is expected to reach 36.653 million barrels per day, with a reduction of 7.200 million barrels per day.
Without cuts, world production for the coming year was estimated at 43.853 mb/d.
OPEC and its non-OPEC partners expect global oil demand to contract by 9.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2020 before recovering by 5.9 mb/d in 2021.
To ensure implementation of the 3 December conference deliberations, OPEC and non-OPEC agreed to hold monthly meetings starting in January 2021 to assess market conditions and decide on further production adjustments.
Angola Press Agency
Botswana, home to nearly half of Africa’s wild elephants, is preparing to repatriate thousands of the giant mammals to neighboring Angola to reduce overpopulation and conflict with farmers.
The country is home to more than 130,000 elephants, the world’s largest population in the wild.
But tens of thousands are refugees from Angola’s decades-long civil war, which ended in 2002.
Conservationists like Elephants Without Borders’ Mike Chase, said Botswana’s elephant population has grown too big, leading to conflicts with farmers and shortages of food and water.
"So, a way to release this bottleneck, this compression, is creating safe corridors for elephants to move through, to repopulate and recolonize southeast Angola, where there are not so many elephants," Chase said.
To enable that, Angola has agreed to remove left over landmines from the war and, along with Botswana, fences that are blocking elephant migration.
Wildlife management expert Erik Verreynne said the movement of the animals is still low.
"We still get reports of poaching incidents in Angola, we know the landmines are still an issue although they are working to try and get them out," Verreyne said. "I don’t know, what I do know is that it is important that we open up these corridors."
Botswana is part of the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area (KAZA), a five-country partnership to conserve shared natural resources.
The group’s executive director, Nyambe Nyambe, said the partnership’s goal is the free movement of wildlife within the region.
"The long-term survival of elephants hinges on ensuring that we secure and reconnect wildlife corridors on a trans-boundary scale," Nyambe said. "When it comes to what the partner states are doing in terms of supporting particularly Angola, the wildlife dispersal areas are all contributing towards that process."
Botswana’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has said his government is more than willing to work with neighbors to open the borders for elephant migration and better manage their numbers.
The latest Top 25 Movers & Shakers Watch List released earlier this week by the African Energy Chamber highlights how important 2021 will be for the Angolan oil & gas industry.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s second biggest oil producing nation has been surfing on a wave of ambitious reforms since 2018 which could prove very beneficial to put the country back on a path to recovery in 2021.
H.E. João Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola, made it to the list for the first time after several years of reforming the industry and making it one of the most competitive on the continent. Via several presidential decrees signed in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the President has truly revived Angola’s hydrocarbons sector and its attractiveness for investors. As Angola recovers from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic and yet another economic crisis, President Lourenço’s leadership is more important than ever to further support sector recovery and boost local content development.
The country’s industry will also be marked by key offshore projects expected to move forward in 2021 and notably led by international majors Total and Eni. Nicolas Terraz, President for Africa at Total Exploration & Production, is another executive who made it to the Chamber’s TOP 25 for 2021. His piloting of key projects across the continent, especially in Eastern and Southern Africa, will be closely watched next year. This notably includes several brownfield expansions in deep water acreages in Angola, and the planned drilling of the world’s deepest well in Block 48.
Guido Brusco, listed for the second year in a row, will be another key figure able to impact the future of Angola’s oil sector. Recently promoted Director of Eni’s global upstream portfolio, Guido has a long experience in Africa and strong understanding of the continent’s dynamics and opportunities. As he makes strategic decisions to rationalize Eni’s upstream spend, the future of major Angolan assets like Block 15/06 is on the line.
President João Lourenço of Angola has stepped up his fight to recover billions of dollars allegedly stolen under his predecessor as Africa’s second-biggest oil producer battles to escape the continent’s largest debt crisis.
Mr Lourenço estimates the scale of the looting to amount to at least $24bn — an assertion that signals the next phase in his struggle against allies of José Eduardo dos Santos, who for decades presided over a country reputed to be one of the world’s most corrupt. Mr dos Santos stepped down in 2017.
“New things are being discovered . . . it is likely that much bigger numbers will be announced later,” Mr Lourenço said in a state of the nation address last month. He also noted that the sum was larger than Angola’s roughly $20bn debt to its main creditor, China.
Mr Lourenço already claims to have recovered almost $5bn of ill-gotten gains and wants to recover more. Angolan prosecutors have begun to investigate one of the most notorious scandals of Mr dos Santos’s rule — an alliance between allies of the former president and a secretive Hong Kong group, 88 Queensway, that allegedly hollowed out Sonangol, Angola’s oil company.
Sonangol has also begun litigation to claw back alleged loot from Isabel dos Santos, the former president’s daughter and the continent’s richest woman, who briefly chaired the company before the family’s downfall. She denies wrongdoing.
The sheer scale of the alleged looting has underlined the stakes for Mr Lourenço’s ruling Movement for the Popular Liberation of Angola as it faces rising frustration, including urban protests, over the turmoil in the economy, Africa’s third largest, and the legacy of theft by the country’s elite.
This year’s pandemic-related crash in oil prices has exacerbated half a decade of recession and forced Beijing’s biggest African debtor to seek billions of dollars in relief. Angola has received about $2.5bn from the IMF as part of its biggest programme on the continent. The IMF has said that Angola is making progress on negotiations with three large creditors, believed by analysts to be Chinese, on $6.7bn of debt relief, but deals are yet to be announced.
A lack of direction on the economy and a crackdown on protests in Luanda, the capital, have fuelled discontent. People think little has changed. It is “basically a reproduction of the same structures, the same status quo, the same way of doing things from dos Santos’s dark past”, said Rafael Marques de Morais, an anti-corruption activist in Angola.
A recent survey of Angolan business owners by Exx Africa, a research group, also indicated that two-thirds were unhappy with the country’s direction.
Mr Lourenço, therefore, has an incentive to blame the alleged dos Santos corruption for Angola’s economic problems, say analysts. “Lourenço is portraying these grand schemes as being instrumental in the high levels of sovereign debt being accumulated over the past two decades, particularly the debt owed to China, to keep public opinion on his side,” said Darias Jonker, Africa director at Eurasia Group.
With Sonangol pledging oil deliveries to secure Chinese loans for investment, Angola became so much a testing ground for Chinese commodity-for-infrastructure loans on the continent this century that the World Bank dubbed the model “Angola Mode”.
A government investigation into two Angolan-Chinese companies has ensnared senior allies of the former president. Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, a confidante of Mr dos Santos known as Dino, and Hélder Vieira Dias Junior, or Kopelipa, a former military adviser, were last month named by prosecutors as formal suspects in alleged corruption involving China International Fund (CIF), a Queensway venture. Angola’s attorney-general did not respond to a request for comment.
These two men together with Manuel Vicente, chairman of Sonangol before he became deputy to Mr dos Santos, controlled significant business interests as a so-called “triumvirate”. Under Mr Vicente’s tenure, Sonangol began a joint venture with Queensway called China Sonangol.
CIF and China Sonangol helped secure access to Angola’s elite for Sam Pa, a formerly powerful Chinese middleman in Africa and senior figure at Queensway. Mr Pa ventured into Angola at the dawn of Chinese interest in the nation’s oil sector as Mr dos Santos sought loans to rebuild after the end of a long civil war in 2002.
The investigation into CIF was sensitive, given Angola’s close relationship with China, said Alex Vines, Africa programme director at Chatham House. Mr Pa was arrested in China in 2015 in an anti-corruption sweep. Mr Pa could not be reached for comment and his current whereabouts are unknown. The “relationship with China is so strategic, given the debt exposure that the timing of this [the asset recovery drive] is clearly political,” said Mr Vines.
Still, many doubt Mr Lourenço will ever recover all the money. “In macroeconomic terms, they are never going to get anything close to $24bn back from the global economy,” said Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, professor in the international politics of Africa at Oxford university.
Sonangol’s management “want to clean up” but “they have a lot on their plate” to pursue complex lawsuits while battling to control the company’s finances, said a lawyer who has worked with the business. “They probably have to prioritise.”
Mr Lourenço’s approach to tackling corruption was also “extremely ambivalent”, said Mr Soares de Oliveira. “The rhetoric is systemic and all-encompassing, but the practice is discretionary and political.”
Despite Mr Lourenço’s statement that more than $13bn was stolen from the company that Mr Vicente once chaired, Mr Vicente remains close to Mr Lourenço.
“There is a sense of arbitrariness that some who were close to dos Santos haven’t been touched, but others have,” Mr Vines said. “There is a sense of old wine in new wineskins in Angola right now.”
Source: Financial Times
Police in the Angolan capital, Luanda, have used tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
They were protesting against rising living costs, unemployment and the postponement of local elections due to coronavirus.
A number of people were arrested and some were injured during the demonstrations, which had been banned by the authorities.
Last month, dozens of people were arrested during a similar protest.
Angola is one of Africa's biggest oil exporters but most of its people live in poverty.
BBC World Service Africa editor Mary Harper reports that disenchantment with the government has risen in recent months, with several marches called against corruption, police brutality and unemployment.
Protesters defied the ban on demonstrations which was ordered by the governor of Luanda partly to slow down the spread of coronavirus.
Teams of well-armed police were seen on the streets of Luanda.
Angola's debt to China is estimated at USD 20.1 billion, and is the country's largest creditor, said Finance Minister Vera Daves on Friday.
Of this amount, USD10 billion was used to capitalize the Angolan oil company Sonangol and the remaining USD 10.1 billion to finance various investment projects.
Speaking at a press conference, Vera Daves said that the issue of China's financing to Angola has generated a lot of controversy when analyzing the quality of the works carried out by Chinese contractors.
However, the minister explained that the quality of the works does not depend on the creditor - Chinese banks - but on the Angolan State that must inspect them, and on the contractors.
Vera Daves said that upon payment, the paying bank is based only on the invoices presented on the execution of the works. The bill is paid in China and the money does not circulate in the Angolan economy.
"There is always a very strong debate about deliverables, the quality of the works. This does not depend on the financier but on the relationship between the Angolan State and the contractors", she said, explaining that the financing entity, which is a bank, focuses on the invoices and not on the walls.
As for the debt service with China for 2020, standing at USD 2. 678 million, the minister said that the amortizations represent 78.8%, that is 2,103, while interest represents 21.2% (567 million).
She explained that the debt with that Asian giant is commercial and is paid in deadlines of up to eight years, unlike that with the IMF, which allows negotiation of interest rates and repayment terms.
On the discharge of the public debt, estimated at about 90% of GDP and 60% of the General State Budget 2020 (AKz 13.5 billion), ie, USD 5 billion, according to analysts from the Fitch Rating Agency, the director of Public Debt, Valter Pacheco, Angola needs at least 29 years.
However, the official explained that this is just a hypothetical example should the country no longer incur any debt. But this is not the case because the country needs to finance itself to meet needs.
"We will continue to go into debt, but in a more productive and responsible way. Angola will have to continue to finance itself, but with lower interest rates and longer terms ", said the official.
Qatar's state-owned oil and gas company Qatar Petroleum has entered into a farm-in agreement for an acquisition of a stake in an offshore block in Angola.
Qatar has reached the deal with Angola's Sonangol, and France's Total to acquire a 30% participating interest in Block 48, located in the ultra-deep waters offshore Angola.
"The block, with a drill-ready opportunity, covers an area of approximately 3,600 square kilometers, and is expected to be drilled as part of a 2020/2021 drilling program," Qatar Petroleum said.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, said:" Continuing on our journey to build a world-class exploration portfolio, by securing interests in promising exploration blocks in diverse geographies, we are pleased to be part of this exciting ultra-deepwater opportunity in Angola, a leading oil and gas producing country.”
Al-Kaabi said: "This is our first opportunity in Angola with both Sonangol, and our long-term partner, Total, an experienced operator with significant in-country presence. We would like to thank the Angolan authorities and our partners in this block for their support. We look forward to a longstanding and fruitful partnership.”
The farm-in agreement is subject to customary approvals by the Angolan Government. Upon receipt of such approvals, the parties respective interests in Block 48 will be as follows: Total (40% - Operator), Sonangol (30%), and Qatar Petroleum (30%).
Block 48 is located in the ultra-deep waters offshore Lower Congo Basin, approximately 400 km northwest of Luanda and 200 km West of Soyo onshore facilities. The average water depth in the block is around 2,500 meters.
Following a recent oil drilling halt offshore Angola caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Total on Tuesday said it had restarted offshore drilling works in the country, with more drilling rigs expected to resume work soon.
Credit: Offshore Engineer