The Italian oil company ENI announced on May 14 the discovery of a major deposit in Angola, in the area of the Ndungu-1 NFW well.
This deepwater well, located a few kilometres from the ENI West Pole facilities, was discovered by the ship Poseidon, thanks to drilling from 1,066 to 4,050 metres deep. According to the European major, which plans to produce more than 20,000 barrels/day, this new oil field could contain up to 250 million barrels of light oil with »[…] excellent petrophysical properties ». Ndungu is the fourth commercial discovery since the Block 15/0606 joint venture – consisting of ENI (as operator 36.84%), Sonangol (36.84%) and SSI Fifteen Limited (26.31%) – restarted its exploration program in mid-2018. It is in addition to the Kalimba, Afoxé and Agogo fields, which would contain up to 1.4 billion barrels of light oil in total.
Established in Angola since 1980, ENI, which already produces 155,000 barrels/day (out of 1.85 million barrels/day internationally in 2018), should further strengthen its production capacity in the country.
This new successful exploration is also timely for Angola, which continues to suffer the consequences of the 2014-2016 oil counter-shock with rising debt (64% of GDP) and a currency – the kwanza – that has fallen sharply (-40% against the dollar since early 2018). Aware of these difficulties, the IMF Executive Board granted the country a loan of $3.7 billion last December, of which $990 million was immediately disbursed. Angola is the second largest African producer of crude oil (1.6 million barrels/day) behind Nigeria, which dethroned it in 2017. Angola wants to diversify its economy, but the share of black gold remains overwhelming (40% of the national GDP and 95% of the country’s exports).