Total Selling Stake of Angola Offshore Oil Block to Sonangol

Total SA (FP), France’s largest oil producer, is selling a stake in an exploration block off Angola to state petroleum company Sonangol Pesquisa e Producao SA as part of an asset-disposal program.

Total will sell a 15 percent holding in the 15-06 zone operated by Eni SpA (ENI), according to a decree allowing the sale issued on Feb. 28 and seen by Bloomberg this week. While the block isn’t producing, the development of discoveries located in its northwest began early last year.

“Talks are ongoing,” Total spokeswoman Anastasia Zhivulina said by phone in Paris. She declined to give a price.

Total plans to complete $15 billion to $20 billion of asset disposals from 2012 to 2014. The company concluded the sale of a 10 percent interest in Angola’s Block 14 in the first quarter to Japan’s Inpex Corp. (1605) China Petrochemical Corp. bought Total’s 20 percent stake in OML 38 off Nigeria in November for about $2.5 billion.

There was no immediate reply to an e-mail late yesterday seeking comment from Sonangol spokeswoman Nadiejda Santos.

Sonangol, which already has a 15 percent stake in the area 120 kilometers (75 miles) offshore in 1,000 meters of water, has the first option to buy a block partner’s share should it decide to sell. Eni and Sonangol Sinopec International Angola Lda. each hold 25 percent. Norway’s Statoil ASA (STL) and closely-held Falcon Oil Holding SA Angola control 5 percent each.

Angola probably produced about 1.8 million barrels a day in April, second in Africa to Nigeria, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Largest Producer

Total is the largest crude producer in Angola. Block 17 where it has a 40 percent share, pumped 468,000 barrels a day in March, according to the Finance Ministry. The assembly of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel for the CLOV project in that zone is expected to start by the end of the year. It will be the first FPSO to be outfitted in Angola and the project is expected to produce 160,000 barrels a day after it starts next year, according to company documents.

A final investment decision is planned this year on the Kaombo project in Block 32. The Lianzi project in a zone between Angola and the Republic of Congo will be developed with a link to the Benguela-Belize-Lobito-Tomboco platform in Block 14, the company said. Production is expected to start in 2015 and Total has a 27 percent share.

Total is operator on exploration blocks 33, 17-06, 25 and 40, and has a stake in 39. It plans to drill for oil under a layer of salt below the seafloor next year in 25, 39, and 40. The Angola Liquid Natural Gas project, in which Total has a 14 percent share, is expected to start next month.

To contact the reporters on this story: Colin McClelland in Johannesburg at cmcclelland1@bloomberg.net; Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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