State oil firm finds gas in Angola

Sonangol, the Angolan state oil company, has discovered gas reserves which could be equal to 813 million barrels of oil in a block in the offshore Kwanza basin.

According to the oil firm, Block 20/11 held an estimated 313 million barrels of condensate and 2.8 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Sonangol had in 2015 acquired 40 percent participating interest in Blocks 21/09 and 20/11 offshore Kwanza basin owned by U.S. firm Cobalt International Energy which had recorded significant finds in 2014. Sonangol added Cobalt’s stake to the 30 percent it owned, British oil giant BP owns the remaining 30 percent.

The state oil firm is undergoing restructuring and the Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has appointed his daughter, Isabel, to lead this effort.

The 40-year-old company has been frequently criticised as opaque, despite being in charge of the resource which accounts for about two-thirds of state revenue. Isabel dos Santos has promised that this will change.

“We’re very committed to transparency. We’re very committed to improving our profits at Sonangol and to improving our organisation,” she told Reuters.

As part of the restructuring, Isabel dos Santos had said that the oil company would be split into three units. One of the units will oversee the company’s oil operations, while another will be in charge of logistics. The third will handle the management of concessions to international energy companies.

Angola will resume processing of natural gas in July, having suspended this in April 2014, due to a failure in one of the pipelines of the gas flaring system.