Southern Times Writer
JOHANNESBURG - As Angola works in attracting foreign investors from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, its closest African neighbours are also entering the race to tap into vast investment opportunities in Africa’s second biggest oil producing market.
Beyond the traditional African oil players, most of them coming from Nigeria, South African companies have increasingly showed interest in regionalising and expanding their businesses beyond their home country. President João Lourenço chose South Africa as his first state visit destination as President, which was followed in 2018 by a South African trade and investment mission to Luanda.
While Mozambique’s LNG mega projects are seen for many South African construction, services and supply companies as very attractive and nearby opportunities, a sizeable and expanding market like Angola has also appeared on their radar in recent years.
It is notably the case of South Africa’s state-owned giants like the Central Energy Fund (CEF), in charge of both developing a robust domestic energy market and securing the energy supplies South Africa needs to support its growing economy.
Under the Integrated Resources Plan set to be adopted by the country this year, 8,100MW of additional gas-to-power capacity is to be added in South Africa by 2030. South Africa also remains sub-Saharan Africa’s largest refiner and is planning additional refining and petrochemicals units that will all require crude oil and natural gas supplies that do not exist domestically.
It is hence no surprise that Angola, with its lucrative opportunities and reformed business environment, will be hosting a strong delegation of South African companies during the upcoming Angola Oil and Gas Conference 2019, set to be held in Luanda on June 4-6. The summit is organised by Africa Oil and Power and endorsed by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum of Angola.
“The economic reforms passed by President Lourenço and the opening of wide swaths of oil and gas acreage constitute the single biggest exploration opportunity in the history of Angola,” said Guillaume Doane, CEO of Africa Oil & Power. “This is a new era for Angola that will herald the arrival of several new entrants to the market.”
Amongst the new entrants, the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), a CEF group company, will be present to look into the various licenses and blocks Angola has to offer. The state-owned entity already recently became owner and operator of South Sudan’s Block B2 under an exploration & production sharing agreement (EPSA) signed in Juba this month, and is keen to continue securing additional assets and reserves across Africa’s key oil markets that can benefit South Africans.
“The Strategic Fuel Fund seeks to invest in and acquire key oil & gas assets across Africa that can be of important interest to the host countries and South Africa” declared Godfrey Moagi, CEO of the SFF.
“In our quest for attractive assets with vast resource potential, we believe Angola offers the right kind of environment, mature fields and political leadership needed to realize successful ventures.”
Angola has indeed just released a new oil licensing strategy up to 2025, and is about to launch for the first time a bidding round that includes marginal oil fields with an attractive fiscal framework. Oil concessions are now overseen by a new and independent agency, the ANPG, which took this responsibility over from state-owned Sonangol in a move to make the process more efficient and transparent.
“The ambitious reform agenda of President João Laurenço and Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum Dr. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo is proving successful in building up investors’ trust and confidence,” said Centurion Law Group CEO and AEC Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk.
“It is very encouraging to see major African players coming to Angola from across the continent. This is very promising for the growing African energy cooperation and the development of our industry.”
The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is the only Africa-wide association that represents all aspects of Africa’s oil and gas industry. The AEC represents more than 120 partner companies involved in all aspects of the African energy industry. Its Angola operations are overseen and represented by Sergio Pugliese.