HOUSTON Mar 09, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)
Angola's oil industry is expected to get $50 billion in investments within the next six years to ensure crude output goals of about two million barrels a day, state-owned news agency Angola Press said Thursday, quoting the chairman of national oil company Sonangol.
Chairman Manuel Vicente was quoted as saying that investments also aim at a "gradual increase in output." In addition, the investments would open the door to new business opportunities, such as the development and maintenance of facilities, and the manufacturing of equipment and oil infrastructure.
Vicente's remarks were made at a conference on the "Angolanization of the oil industry" organized by Angola's Center of Strategic Studies, according to Angola Press.
The so-called Angolanization forms part of a government decree that seeks to foster technical training of local staff working in the oil industry, requiring oil companies to invest in training for local staff and hire Angolan employees.
Angola, which recently joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is one of the world's fastest growing oil producers. In the past two decades, Western oil companies have flocked to the country's rich offshore fields, quadrupling oil output to an average of about 1.4 million barrels a day in 2006.
Sonangol has seen its role increase in the Angola Liquefied Natural Gas project. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), which operates the most productive offshore block in the country, left its 14% stake in the LNG terminal to the state-owned oil company, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
"Due to recent commercial developments, we have elected to assign our interest to affiliates of Sonangol EP," ExxonMobil spokeswoman Jeanne Miller said in an e-mail. The company, however, "will continue to pursue development opportunities in Angola that will support the country's growth objectives and increase shareholder value," Miller said.
In an analyst meeting Wednesday, Exxon Chief Executive Rex Tillerson said that withdrawing from the Angolan LNG project wouldn't impede the company from using the terminal to export the gas it extracts from the area.
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