Sonangol Raises Angola Oil Output, Will Seek Bids for 15 Blocks

Sonangol EP, Angola’s state energy company, boosted oil output by 4.5 percent last year and plans to spend $8.8 billion on exploration in the next decade, Chief Executive Officer Francisco de Lemos Jose Maria said.

The company is targeting daily output of 2 million barrels by 2017, he said today at a news conference in Luanda, Angola’s capital. Sebastiao Gaspar Martins, a board member, said Sonangol plans to seek bids this year for 15 onshore oil areas, 10 of them in the Kwanza basin near Luanda and five in the Congo basin in the nation’s north. Sonangol produced 1.81 million barrels a day of oil in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Angola is Africa’s biggest oil producer after Nigeria. Almost all its output comes from Atlantic Ocean fields operated by companies such as Total SA (FP), Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc. Production last year didn’t increase as much as Sonangol had planned because of delays in first oil from the PSVM fields, operated by BP, and an expansion of block 14, where Chevron is operator.

“We’re now back on track and production is expected to grow,” Baptista Sumbe, a company board member, said at the conference. Construction of a liquefied natural gas plant, Angola LNG, may be finished in four to six weeks, and an announcement of first fuel from the project, costing at least $9 billion, would follow, Sumbe said.

Company officials gave no details of their 10-year spending plan to explore for oil and gas.

Sonangol posted net income of $1.24 billion in 2012, de Lemos Jose Maria said. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to $5.21 billion last year from $5.96 billion in 2011, he said. The company generated revenue of $46.97 billion in 2012, the CEO said, without providing a corresponding number for 2011. He forecast a 7 percent decline in revenue for 2013, declining to elaborate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Colin McClelland in Luanda at cmcclelland1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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