Chevron Still Negotiating to Renew Lease Offshore Angola

CheveronTexaco said it was still negotiating a renewal of its biggest production concession, Block 0, offshore Angola. ChevronTexaco operates the block, the largest single production area in Angola with over half the country's output of 450,000 barrels per day, whose lease expires in 2010. "We are negotiating that deal for Block 0 but we've not finalized the deal yet. The lease expires in 2010," a company spokesman said. "We have big investments so we have to take care of that," he added. Industry sources speculated that the company had agreed on a 25-year extension to the concession just prior to the award of new building contracts for a major investment in the block earlier this week.

"We don't expect an early conclusion and even if we reached an agreement with Sonangol, the deal will still have to go through government approval," he said. The spokesman declined to comment on when a deal was likely to be finalized. Block 0 is a 2,100 square-mile concession adjacent to the Cabinda coastline, in northern Angola, in which the company has a 39.2 percent interest. Other shareholders are Sonangol with 41 percent, TotalFinaElf with10 percent and Agip with 9.8 percent. Major fields discovered in the Blocks include Banzala, Kokongo, Lomba, N'Dola, North Nemba, Numbi.

Earlier this week Stolt Offshore and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering won a $660 million contract for a large Angolan gas project led by ChevronTexaco. The contract involves engineering, fabrication and installation of five offshore platforms as part of the Sanha Condensate project, in Block 0, which is part of the plan to end gas flaring at the prolific Cabinda oilfields. The project includes modifying three existing platforms and installing 100 kilometers of subsea pipelines, with much of the work taking place in Lobito, Angola. Sanha will eliminate about 40 percent of gas flaring in Block 0.


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