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Angola: Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 in the Oil and Gas Sector

Covid-19 had a significant impact on operational activities, leading to the suspension of drilling activities and substantial limitations on production activity in general

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Energy Capital & Power (www.EnergyCapitalPower.com) International Conference Director, João Gaspar Marques, spoke to H.E Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas of Angola, about the impact of COVID-19 on the country’s oil and gas sector.

What have been key developments in the Angolan oil and gas sector in the past twelve months, giving particular weight to the state of emergency imposed by COVID-19?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the mineral resources, oil and gas sector has materialized and expanded its reforms with the consolidation of the role of the National Oil and Gas Agency, ANPG, as National Concessionaire and the execution of the Restructuring/Regeneration Program of Sonangol-EP.

H.E. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas of Angola (Source: Energy Capital & Power |

Within the specific scope of the Petroleum Concession Allocation Strategy for the 2019-2025 period, the implementation of the bidding program continued, with the bid for nine onshore blocks in 2021 for the 2020 bid – six from the Lower Kwanza Basin and three from the Lower Congo Basin. The block bidding strategy for 2021 was also recently approved.

During this period, continuity was given to the project to modernize and expand the Luanda refinery, which aims to increase gasoline production. We launched the construction of the Cabinda Refinery, the public tender for the construction of the Soyo Refinery was launched, and the international public tender for the partnership to execute the construction of the Lobito Refinery was also launched.

The development of marginal fields is beginning, and in this sense, some marginal fields have already been declared and approved, namely the PAJ (Palas Astrea and Juno) of Block 31, N’singa (already in production), Lifua, Kambala and N ‘dola Sul, in Block 0.

We, therefore, consider that the state of emergency imposed by Covid-19 had a significant impact on operational activities, leading to the suspension of drilling activities and substantial limitations on production activity in general.

What initiatives has the Ministry taken to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic within the energy sector, and how does it assess the effectiveness of these initiatives so far?

The various initiatives taken in consultation with the national health authorities, the association of oil-producing companies in Angola and the association of companies providing services to the oil industry to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic include:

» Demobilization of non-essential personnel

» Adoption of remote work mode for some functions

»Establishment of quarantine regimes, social isolation and systematic and mandatory testing of all personnel, that is, before accessing oil facilities either offshore or onshore.

With the continuous advancement of construction projects and renovation of several refineries, how can the development of the downstream sector reduce dependence on volatile fuel imports and offset losses in crude oil exports?

Angola currently imports around 80% of refined products to satisfy its internal needs, therefore, spending vast amounts of foreign exchange.

The refining strategy drawn up by the Angolan Executive includes the improvement of operational processes and the consequent increase in gasoline production at the Luanda refinery (revamping) and the construction of three new refineries in Cabinda (60,000 barrels per day), Soyo (100,000 barrels per day) and Lobito (200,000 barrels per day).

The projects listed above aim to achieve internal self-sufficiency in terms of refined products, export of surplus to neighboring countries, and maintenance and generation of jobs.

Given the current volatility in oil prices, how can COVID-19 facilitate the energy transition to alternative and clean energy sources, including natural gas?

It is important to start by clarifying that the Ministry of Energy and Water oversees issues related to energy transition; however, our Ministerial Department has contributed with essential subsidies related essentially to hydrogen, and some companies in the oil sector are involved in the design of renewable energy projects.

The Angolan State has policies and programs aimed at the energy transition, among which the conversion of thermal power generation plants from diesel to gas is the current priority. For example, we can mention the Soyo Combined Cycle Power Plant and the Malembo Thermal Power Plant in Cabinda. We also launched an initiative to build a photovoltaic power plant (50 MW) in Namibe, a partnership between Sonangol-EP and Eni.

Additionally, we highlight that Angola has an LNG plant in Soyo, which has been in operation since 2012 and originated from the need to monetize natural gas resources, eliminating its flaring in oil operations.

Can COVID-19 serve as an opportunity to expand local content development?

The prospects for the hydrocarbon sector in the post-pandemic period (short and medium-term) are focused on mitigating the decline in oil production, minimizing unexpected losses, optimizing and boosting the production of refined products to ensure the country’s self-sufficiency in these products and increase storage capacity of fuels and lubricants, guaranteeing their distribution coverage throughout the country.

The Legal Regime for the Local Content of the Petroleum Sector was recently approved, which aims to regulate matters relating to the transfer of technology and knowledge, the recruitment and training of Angolan human capital, and the acquisition of goods and services produced locally by companies operating in the oil sector, as tools for fostering Angolan business and promoting economic development.

What is the Ministry’s short, medium, and long-term prospects for the Angolan hydrocarbon sector in the post-pandemic period?

Mitigating the natural decline in production represents one of the biggest challenges for the sector and is therefore a top priority.

Thus, the Angolan Council of Ministers recently approved the Hydrocarbon Exploration Strategy, which is based on four pillars, namely: a) availability and accessibility to the areas that constitute Angola’s sedimentary basins for research and assessment activities; b) expansion of geological knowledge and access to oil and natural gas resources; c) ensuring the successful execution of the General Strategy for the Allocation of Petroleum Concessions in Angola; d) the intensification of research and evaluation in the concessions and Free Areas of Angola’s sedimentary basins.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. https://bububu.wordpress.com/

    April 27, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say great blog!

    • Kurian Musa

      April 30, 2022 at 1:37 am

      Thank you for compliments

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Energy

Sahara Foundation Promotes Clean Energy With Sahara Impact Fund

The Sahara Impact Fund will provide seed funding of $5,000 each for successful finalists, including incremental funding access based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa.

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Sahara Foundation, the corporate citizenship vehicle of energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, has launched the 2nd Cohort of the Sahara Impact Fund (SIF) and the Governance Unusual Program to support social innovators  creating solutions that increase access to clean energy and promote sustainable environments.

 The project reinforces Sahara Group’s commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly by connecting social innovators with opportunities that will enhance their contribution to eradicating energy poverty and enhancing environmental sustainability. The SIF is a strategic partnership involving Sahara Foundation, Ford Foundation, LEAP Africa and Impact Investors Foundation.

The Sahara Impact Fund will provide seed funding of $5,000 each for successful finalists, including incremental funding access based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa. In addition, the Fellows will have mentoring sessions with business leaders at Sahara Group and other private sector partners, to scale up clean energy and sustainable environment innovations.

The inaugural cohort of the SIF produced Fellows from Cameroon, Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi who are spearheading transformative solutions through their businesses. According to Damilola Asaleye, Co- founder- Ashdam Solar “The learnings from the Sahara Impact Fund fellowship have become a daily guide for my organization to achieve our strategic plans of providing access to clean and affordable energy for all in Nigeria.”

“In addition to the seed capital, which was a great boost to my business, I have also built professional networks with like-minded passionate entrepreneurs from all over Africa,” said Ghislain Irakoze , Founder, Wastezon, Rwanda.

Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Sahara Foundation, said the Sahara Impact Fund and Governance Unusual program will reinforce ongoing conversations around increasing entrepreneurial capacity and inspiring a paradigm shift in governance through individual responsibility. “We are delighted to lead and join the quest of ensuring that no one is left behind when it comes to energy access and shore up expertise and capacity towards providing global solutions for environmental sustainability. We urge social innovators across Africa to apply to be part of this movement today,” she said.

Uzokwe said applications for the SIF are open from 9th May 2022 to 30th May 2022. “Full details of the application process are available across our social media platforms @iamsaharafdn and the Ujana Hub at www.ujanahub.com. Enquiries can also be sent to sahara.foundation@sahara-group.com,” she added.

The maiden edition in 2021 exposed the ten (10) social innovator fellows to blended capacity building sessions in the form of workshops, webinars, immersion sessions, facility tours, cohort meetings, mentoring sessions, one-on-one strategy & finance sessions and Fire chat sessions.

Since inception, Sahara Foundation has implemented various projects across its locations in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, impacting the lives of over 2,000,000 beneficiaries, with youth accounting for over 50% of the beneficiaries.

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Energy

Asharami Synergy Targets 30% Aviation Fuel Market Share To Enhance Economic Growth

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Asharami Synergy Limited, a Sahara Group Downstream Company, is investing in technology and innovative solutions to enhance its capacity to fuel seamless economic growth through operations in the aviation fuel market.

Asharami Synergy Limited, which is Nigeria’s first indigenous energy company to operate as an independent Aviation Fuel Marketer, controls about 25 percent market share in the industry, operating as the preferred aviation fuel market for local and international airlines.

Foluso Sobanjo, Head, Sahara Downstream Business, at a press briefing in Lagos, said investments in infrastructure, human capital transformation, quality, health,  safety, and environmental sustainability continues to drive service excellence in the organisation.

He said Asharami Synergy would leverage its technology driven supply chain efficiency across the Downstream value chain to deliver distinctive value and innovative solutions in the market. “We have been at the forefront of Oil and Gas enterprise in the West African region for over twenty years.”

In addition, “Asharami Synergy has a formidable presence in the sector, providing best-in-class fuel procurement and distribution solutions by utilizing innovative technology and improved efficiency across the downstream supply chain. Our quest for increased market share is borne out of our commitment to transforming the sector and spurring economic development,” Sobanjo said.

Asharami Synergy operates in four countries in the Africa and has a combined storage capacity of 81 million litres of Aviation fuel otherwise known as ATK.

The company has over 30 million litres storage capacity for ATK across various locations in Nigeria as well as a fleet of ultramodern bowsers spread across various locations, fueling the development and growth of the national and sub-regional economy by providing seamless access to safe and reliable ATK.

Sobanjo said “safety first and always” is the mantra that drives operations in Asharami Asharami Synergy, a development that has earned the company multiple International Standard Organisation certifications.

He said being a strategic partner of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) gives Asharami Synergy a global credibility that is driven by a statutory self-responsibility that propels its business operations in compliance with the highest global standards.

“Asharami Synergy has several ISO certifications; ISO 9001:2015 (Quality), ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental) and ISO 45001:2018 (Occupational Health and Safety). This reinforces our commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly in all our operations. Our mantra is Safety First, Safety Always, ensuring that the health and safety of our employees and other stakeholders remains top priority in all business operations,” he added.

Asharami Synergy is a vertically integrated and foremost downstream company in the West African region with established and formidable presence in the sector, providing best-in-class fuel procurement and distribution solutions by utilizing innovative technology and improved efficiency across the downstream supply chain for over twenty years.

The company emerged from a consolidation of Sahara Group Downstream Companies with interest in procurement, storage, and distribution of white products across Nigeria.

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Business

Video: Oppo Reno 7 Launch

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Did you miss the big launch? Here is Bahati the singer and his wife during the Monday virtual launch of the Oppo Reno 7 phone in Kenya.

The colourful launch gives  the phone a leverage in the market ahead of the rest.

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