Angolan crude output remained largely stable in March, averaging 1.138 million b/d, the country’s energy regulator, Agência Nacional de Petróleo, Gás e Biocombustíveis, or ANPG, said April 15.
The OPEC member pumped 35,285,177 barrels or 1,138,232 b/d last month compared to 31,843,763 barrels or 1,137,277 b/d in February, data showed.
Angolan crude output has recently fallen to multidecade lows because of technical and operational problems at some fields, aggravated by a lack of upstream investment and incentives. But ANPG also said there was a rebound in drilling and exploration work in the country, as it fights hard to stem the steep production decline.
Recent production levels remain much below the country’s commitments under the recent OPEC production cuts.
For the first four months of 2021, Angola had committed to keep production at 1.267 million b/d under the recent OPEC+ deal.
ANPG also said there were nine drilling ships operating last month, with exploration work carried out at 22 wells, a steady rise from recent levels.
Drilling offshore Angola has picked up in the last few months after upstream activity came to a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic and the oil price crash.
Last week, Italy’s Eni made a light oil discovery close to existing infrastructure in Angola’s prolific deepwater Block 15. It is also targeting a full development of the Agogo field via a new hub in Block 15/06, following some discoveries in the past three years.
BP recently resumed drilling activity at the Platina oil field in Block 18 late last-year. Production is expected to reach 30,000 b/d, with first oil expected in the fourth quarter of next year.
BP has still to take a final investment decision on the Palas, Astrea and Juno projects in Block 31, while Total is also finalizing the Chissonga field development in Block 16.
Angola is also looking to attract companies that specialize in improved oil recovery techniques as the OPEC member works hard to reverse its crude output decline.
ANPG, issued a tender April 9 looking for “consultancy services to conduct studies on optimization of secondary and improved oil recovery (IOR) methods.”
Many oil companies and producers resort to improved oil recovery and enhanced oil recovery methods to deal with declining oil fields or basins.
Angola’s crude output slumped to 1.12 million b/d in February, its lowest in around 16 years, according to S&P Global Platts estimates. That represents a fall of 40% in the past five years, underlining how dramatic the descent has been. Production recovered slightly last month, averaging 1.16 million b/d, according to the latest Platts OPEC+ survey.