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July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Angola, Africa’s biggest oil producer after Nigeria, will produce 2 million barrels of the fuel a day next year or in 2015, meeting a target it had planned to reach in 2013, the country’s oil minister said.

“Based on the data we have, the increase in production to 2 million barrels of oil per day may take place between 2014 and 2015,” Oil Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in the capital, Luanda, today.

Production this year has averaged 1.751 million barrels a day while reserves are now estimated at 12.777 billion barrels. In April state news agency Angop put reserves at 12.6 billion barrels, citing the minister. Companies operating in the country include Exxon Mobil Corp. and Total SA.

Reserves may increase as the country starts to explore pre-salt reserves in an area stretching 1,100 kilometers (684 miles) that may hold oil under a 2 kilometer-thick layer of salt, similar to that found off the coast of Brazil.

“Recent exploration in pre-salt formations suggests reserves may be larger than initially estimated,” said Ganesh Thakur, a former president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, at the conference in Luanda.

To contact the reporter on this story: Manuel Soque in Luanda at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

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