Angola Delaying Increase in Oil Output to 2017 From 2015

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Angola, Africa’s biggest oil producer after Nigeria, plans to increase output to 2 million barrels a day by 2017, according to Finance Minister Armando Manuel. That would be two years behind an earlier target.

Angola will budget next year for oil prices from $88 to $92 a barrel, said Manuel, who is urging the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to take steps to avoid more declines. Brent is down 16 percent this year in London, the most since a 51 percent drop in 2008.

Manuel’s comments in an interview in Washington D.C. yesterday indicate a delay in meeting a target expressed repeatedly by Petroleum Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos. He has said the goal of 2 million barrels a day will be reached in 2015, helped by projects including Eni SpA’s West Hub in Block 15/06, which is scheduled to begin this year.

“Although we face a slowdown in prices, the new fields may offset the current stream of the oil sector and ensure that growth doesn’t get affected,” Manuel said. “I expect prices to maintain a suitable level that don’t expose the country to a deeper vulnerability.”

Angola pumped 1.87 million barrels a day last month, according to a Bloomberg survey of producers and analysts. The West African nation’s output fell to a seven-year low earlier this year as some fields peaked and maintenance constrained other sites, Ben Payton, a senior Africa analyst at Maplecroft, a risk adviser, said in May. The development of new fields may take three years, he said.

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