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Chevron signs contracts for ultra-deepwater blocks in Angola amid attractive policies

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa,

June 19, 2024

Multinational energy corporation Chevron has signed two Risk Service Contracts (RSC) for Block 49 and Block 50, located in the ultra-deep waters of Angola’s Lower Congo Basin. The company – through its Angolan subsidiary Cabinda Gulf Oil Company Limited ­– was initially awarded the concessions by way of Presidential Decree in January 2024. The signing of the RSCs kicks off exploration and lays the foundation for the development of the blocks.

As the voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) commends the recent signing by Chevron in Angola. Chevron’s rich history of exploration and production in the country – covering 70 years – could not have been possible without Angola’s strong regulatory environment and the AEC supports the ongoing efforts by the multinational to expanding Angola’s oil and gas market.

Representing the company’s first operated assets outside of the existing Cabinda concessions, Block 49 and 50 are situated in close proximity to producing concessions such as Block 17 – one of the first deep-offshore blocks to be licensed in Angola. As such, the blocks hold substantial potential for strong returns and further expand Angola’s portfolio of producing ultra-deepwater assets. Earlier this year, Chevron signed an agreement with Angola’s national concessionaire – the National Oil, Gas & Biofuels Agency – to conduct seismic surveys in Blocks 49 and 50. These studies will improve the geological understanding of the concessions and advance the exploration agenda.

The RSCs add to Chevron’s strong asset portfolio in Angola. The company currently has a 26% market share in the country, with interests in Block 0 and 14 – which produce an average of 70,000 barrels of liquids per day and 259 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Block 0 – whose concession has been extended to 2050 – is comprised of 21 fields, while Block 14 contains nine fields. An agreement signed between Chevron and the government in 2020 combined all of Block 14’s development areas, providing improved fiscal terms while extending the production sharing contract to 2028. Additionally, in 2023, Chevron signed a production sharing agreement to manage operations within the Block 14/23 concession area. The concession is situated in the Zone of Common Interest shared by Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the agreement seeing Chevron act as operator with a 31% stake in the block.

Chevron’s operations in Angola transcend oil and gas exploration, with the company holding non-operating interests in the Angola LNG plant – Angola’s inaugural LNG facility. Angola LNG processes gas from offshore concessions, generating critical revenue for the country through LNG exports. In 2023, the facility reached a milestone of delivering its 400th LNG cargo. Going forward, the development of new concessions aims to bolster LNG production at the facility. Specifically, the Chevron-operated Sanha Lean Gas Connection Project – valued at $300 million – comprises the development of a platform that ties into the existing Sanha Condensate complex and features pipelines connecting Block 0 and 14 to the Angola LNG facility. The project reached a final investment decision in 2021 and aims to address a supply gap at Angola LNG.

Beyond exploration and production, Chevron is spearheading low-carbon solutions across Angola’s oil and gas industry. The multinational signed an agreement with the government in October 2023 to explore low-carbon business opportunities, with the goal to utilize nature-based and technological carbon offsets – alongside lower-carbon intensity fuels such as hydrogen – to enhance the country’s production. This will be undertaken in conjunction with oil and gas initiatives and showcases Chevron’s future-oriented approach to energy development in Angola.

“Chevron’s recent signing of two RSCs further underscores the value of implementing a strong regulatory and fiscal environment in Africa. When governments open up the market through attractive fiscal terms, the industry will respond positively. This is clearly evident in Angola where a commitment to creating an enabling environment for doing business has and continues to attract foreign companies. Other countries in Africa should learn from this and adopt proactive measures to attracting foreign capital,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.

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