Angola Set to Reopen Kwanza Basin End 2005

LONDON, Jun 23, 2005 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex)

Angola is set to reopen the onshore Kwanza oil basin to licensing rounds between end-2005 and early 2006, the head of the licensing and exploration department at the country's oil ministry said Wednesday.

The basin was abandoned due to the civil war but was producing in the 1970s. Speaking at a London conference on West African oil, Alfredo Rafael said: "A decision to open a licensing round for the basin is awaiting approval from the council of ministers."

If approved, "a licensing bidding round will take place by the end of 2005 or the beginning of 2006," he said.

Rafael said the reason why activities hadn't resumed earlier was because of the "complexity of the (basin's) petroleum system," without providing more details.

The official said he didn't know the level of reserves the basin contains but that they were lower than for offshore fields.

The Kwanza basin has the advantage, however, of being located only 60 kilometers from Angola's capital Luanda, making transportation easier than from offshore fields.

Raphael also said that Angola, the second-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, was expected to have an output of 2 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2008.

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