Oil From Block Shared by Congo, Angola May Flow in 36 Months

Sonangol EP, Angola’s state oil company, and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Cohydro may begin production from a shared offshore oil block in 36 months, Congo’s Oil Minister Crispin Atama said.

Angola and Congo will negotiate a new production-sharing agreement for block 14c, a so-called zone of common interest in the Atlantic Ocean, Atama said in an e-mailed statement today.

“This accord will open the way for a ‘super major’ of the oil industry with the technical capacity to develop such oil concessions in very deepwater zones,” he said.

Congo pumps about 25,000 barrels a day and wants to expand output. Angola produced 1.78 million barrels a day in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, making it Africa’s second-biggest producer after Nigeria.

Companies including Chevron Corp., Total SA, Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc already have projects in Angola’s Atlantic Ocean oilfields. Angola and Congo have long-standing disagreements over their maritime borders and access to the lucrative oil blocks there.

Cohydro signed a production-sharing agreement in 2006 to develop the zone of common interest with Nessergy Ltd., a company controlled by Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler.

“If it’s good for the Congo, it is good for us,” Shimon Cohen, a spokesman for Gertler, said in an e-mailed response to questions, declining further comment.

The details of the accord will be published in line with Congolese regulations once the conditions of the agreement are finalized, Atama said in the statement.

Sonangol will pay Nessergy to sell its rights in the project, according to the statement. It didn’t give a price.

“Sonangol will be reimbursed in turn from future revenues coming from production,” Atama said.

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