ChevronTexaco's Angolan Production Still Down

A pipeline leak that started in mid-June is still causing the loss of 12,000 barrels per day of crude production. ChevronTexaco reduced production by almost 55,000 bpd after a similar-sized pipeline began leaking two months ago. The leak has since been plugged but the company decided against using the pipeline on concerns of possible new leaks. The majority of production was back onstream by late July but the remaining output will not be brought back in to production until sometime in September.

The pipeline is part of a network which transports around 450,000 bpd of oil from the Malongo area in Block 0 export terminal in Cabinda. Block 0 is one of Angola's oldest oil producing zone where oil was first struck in 1968 in the Malongo field. The company is in the process of building a new pipeline to replace the burst one and industry sources say it is only likely to be completed at the end of September.

ChevronTexaco is the operator of the Block 0 concession which holds 36 major fields and the partners in the block are Sonangol with 14 percent, TotalFinaElf with 10 percent and Agip with 9.8 percent.