(2015-11-06) Italy’s ENI and Angola’s state oil company Sonangol have agreed to finalize the evaluation of a gas field project that could generate up to 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of electricity for the southern African nation.
Sonangol and Eni said they would conclude the evaluation of the fields in the coming months, but did not give a specific date. The project covers gas fields in the Lower Congo Basin, the firms said in a statement on Thursday.
The Lower Congo Basin on Africa’s west coast covers 115,000 square km from the Republic of Congo to Angola.
The statement was issued following a meeting in Rome with the chairman of Sonangol, Francisco de Lemos Maria, and ENI’s Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi.
“The meeting also resulted in an agreement between the two companies to collaborate on the development of the Lobito refinery project, with the intention that Angola will become independent in oil and gas supply,” the statement said.
Lobito was expected to be completed by 2011 but was delayed due to rising costs and financing setbacks.
Eni will also provide its own support for the outline of an agricultural project that aims to boost employment and promote diversification of the country’s economy, reads the statement.
“This agreement confirms Eni’s strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa. We are accelerating organic growth in upstream and supporting local communities through projects that
provide access to energy, develop downstream facilities and produce economic diversification” said Claudio Descalzi.
Eni has been present in Angola since 1980 with a net production of about 105,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Eni has a 35% stake in the deep waters of block 15/06, where on 30th November 2014, it began production of the West Hub Development Project, just 4 years after the announcement of its commercial discovery.
The block 15/06 also includes the East Hub Development Project, which is under development and will start producing in 2017.
Oil output represents 40 percent of Angola’s gross domestic product and over 95 percent of export revenue.
Fallen oil prices have sapped dollar inflows, dented the local kwanza currency, hammered public finances and prompted heavy government borrowing.
Source: Reuters / Eni
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