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Angola: Growing Market for Subsea Suppliers

Last year, Angola passed Nigeria as the biggest oil producer south of the Sahara. Norwegian companies have been present in Angola for decades and are targeting this growing market with their subsea expertise to help the African nation recover its deepwater petroleum resources.

Angola produces some 1.8 million barrels of oil per day, almost as much as the 2.3 million in output from the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Unlike Norway though, the African country has in no way reached its peak oil output, according to Eva Ljosland, Intsok regional director for Kazakhstan, Angola and Caspian. Last year, Angola exceeded Nigeria in oil production for the first time.

Intsok regards Angola as one of the main international growth markets for the Norwegian oil industry because of its subsea competence from the Norwegian Continental Shelf. According to a June 2010 report by Menon Business Economics, Norwegian offshore suppliers’ share of international revenues from Angola, Nigeria and West Africa increased from NOK 7.5 billion in 2007 to NOK 12.5 billion in 2009. Angola is by far the largest revenue contributor among the African countries to the Norwegian offshore supply industry, said Sveinung Fjose, one of the co-authors of the Menon report.

Total’s Pazflor development enabled by subsea separation technologies. ©  FMC Technologies

Big Subsea Market

The biggest market for Norway in Angola has been within subsea supplies. FMC Technologies was recently awarded in September a $520 million contract from Total to manufacture and supply subsea production equipment for the CLOV development. The contract includes the manufacture of 36 subsea trees, wellheads and controls for the deepwater project located in approximately 4,500 feet water depth in block 17.

“FMC has a strong history in supporting Block 17 projects, including the Pazflor, Rosa and Girassol fields,” said Tore Halvorsen, FMC’s senior vice president of global subsea production systems.

Another example is Aker Solutions, which has supplied subsea umbilicals to BP’s PSVM ultra-deepwater field development in block 31. The dynamic section of the umbilicals were made in Aker Solutions’ facility in Moss, Norway using its patented carbon fibre rod technology, which is developed specifically for deepwater and ultra-deepwater conditions.

There are many other Norwegian suppliers providing oil-related services to Angola, such as Acergy, Subsea 7, Framo, and Det Norske Veritas. But Norway is also heavily involved in developing the fields. Statoil has been in Angola for 19 years and has partnerships in nine producing fields. Output from these fields makes up the largest contribution to Statoil’s international portfolio. The more than 200,000 barrels of equity production per day comprised 37% of Statoil’s total output last year.

The biggest contributors are the two developments Girassol and Dalia in block 17, which comprise more than half of Statoil’s production in Angola. The block is considered the one of the world’s most prodigious oil acreages, with more than 3 billion barrels in total recoverable oil, according to Statoil.

“Angola is the most important country for Statoil outside of Norway,” said Ljosland. “Statoil paid twice as much tax to Angola as Norway paid in its aid budget to all of Africa.”

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