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Economy - Development

First condensate from Angola's Sanha field

afrol News, 1 March - Oil companies today reported that the first condensate production from the Sanha field had been achieved. Sanha lies in the Block 0 concession, 37 kilometres offshore Angola's troubled Cabinda province. Condensates are a light, valuable oil, making the Sanha field highly profitable.

The US company ChevronTexaco today announced that its Angolan subsidiary, Cabinda Gulf Oil Company (CABGOC), has achieved first condensate production from the Sanha field. The Sanha condensate complex, located approximately 37 kilometres offshore and directly above the Sanha Field, serves as the hub for processing natural gas from the surrounding production facilities.

Wells pre-drilled in early 2004 into the Sanha Field, along with those from neighbouring fields, are now producing approximately 6,000 barrels of condensate per day into the Sanha complex, ChevronTexaco says. In addition, dry gas is being re-injected into the subsurface to help maintain reservoir pressure and for storage ahead of eventual delivery to the proposed Angola liquefied natural gas facility.

Combined production from the Sanha project, which includes crude oil from the nearby Bomboco Field, is expected to reach its average yearly peak of 100,000 barrels a day of oil, condensate and liquefied petroleum gas by 2007, the US oil giant added.

Commenting on today's announcement, ChevronTexaco Overseas Petroleum President John Watson said: "Condensate from Sanha, coupled with Bomboco first oil, represents a major step toward our goals of bringing the Sanha project fully on line and helping us to achieve our production growth targets for Africa."

Mr Watson added that with the start of re-injection, the company also was moving forward with its plan to significantly reduce the routine flaring of natural gas in Block 0, which is considered an environmental harm. The Sanha complex is capable of re-injecting 500 million cubic feet of produced gas per day.

Further, liquefied natural gas production is scheduled to commence early in the second quarter of 2005. By then, a 32,000 barrel per day liquefied natural gas floating production, storage and off-loading vessel is expected to be fully operational, according to the US company.

ChevronTexaco's managing director of the Southern Africa strategic business unit, Jim Blackwell, stated: "We continue to achieve operational milestones safely, on schedule and on budget. This has been a daunting challenge with the complexities of components being fabricated in Angola, Korea, Japan, and the United States. This is a tremendous achievement for our business unit, and I am proud of the project team's efforts."

Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, with a 39.2 percent ownership, is operator of the Block 0 concession on behalf of its partners, which include the state-owned Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis de Angola (Sonangol), 41 percent; Total, 10 percent; and Eni Angola Exploration, 9.8 percent.

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