Angola Woos American Investors as Country Launches New Oil Licensing Strategy

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Angola, the second-biggest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria, is courting investment from the United States of America as it plans to capitalize on its lucrative energy sector.

The West-Coast country of South-Central Africa has just released a new oil licensing strategy that will run up until 2025.

The country has emerged as the hub of foreign direct investments within Africa. In fact, new research indicates that its prospects of attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) this year are bright, particularly in the country’s oil and gas sector.

According to the African Energy Chamber, the voice of the continent’s energy sector, the ambitious reform agenda of President João Laurenço and that of the Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, Dr. Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, has already resulted in increased investment from the country’s biggest European operators.

The Chamber noted that this current state of play now presents an opportunity for North American companies to re-engage and re-invest in the Angolan market.

“Angola has repositioned itself as a strategic oil investment hub and has made itself attractive to American oil firms to take a new look as Africa becomes once again a target for the US oil industry,” said Jude Kearney, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the United States Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration and President of Kearney Africa.

“American and many other foreign investors are paying close attention to the wave of reforms in Angola and will embrace it by investing their dollars. The Angola Oil & Gas Conference on June 4-6, championed by the President, will be key in this regard,” Kearney added.

Angola also just released a new oil licensing strategy up to 2025, and is about to launch next month and for the first time a bidding round that includes marginal oil fields with an attractive fiscal framework. Angola’s economic recovery is being driven by investments in the country’s oil and gas sector, with the country’s energy sector attracting well over $1bn of investment commitments over the past few months.

The charge is notably led by international oil companies increasing the size of their operations in the country, including Total at Angola’s Kaombo region, ExxonMobil in the Namibe Basin or BP at the Platina Field.

US oil and gas service companies like Halliburton or Baker Hughes GE also still dominate the sector and are likely to further invest in technology as the country ramps up exploration efforts.

American firms have traditionally led investments within Angola’s oil sector, especially under the Strategic Partnership Agreement the US has with Angola, one of just three in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The market-driven policies are working, and we will encourage the oil industry and the government to work together and do more deals,” declared Sergio Pugliese, President of the African Energy Chamber in Angola.

“Seeing new oil discoveries in Angola, is yet again great news that there is still a lot more oil and gas to be found in Angola and also solidifies the impression of many US firms that Angola is still the place to be,” stated C. Derek Campbell, CEO of TransGen Energy, Inc., an integrated global energy conglomerate based out of Maryland.

“The gas potential is massive and US technology, if used properly, will redefine Angola’s gas market. Angola has been smart to work hand in hand with US investors and the African Energy Chamber to ensure its reforms meet market demands,” he concluded.

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