- UK giant BP and its partners were on Monday given a green light to kick start one of Angola's largest oil and gas investments, which worths US $10 billion.
Angola, a country that went through more than a decade long war, has been revamping its oil production. It has now taken over from Nigeria as Africa's oil producer. Angola's oil output is expected to increase from 1.9 to 2 million barrels a day in 2008.
The oil giant that had been embroiled in a dispute in Russia and three years delays in the United States, said state-owned Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis de Angola had authorized it and its partners to develop a series of deepwater oil discoveries in offshore Angola's Block 31, 250 km from the capital Luanda.
BP is an operator and owner of 26.67% stake. The oil giant and its partners have so far made 15 discoveries in the block.
Other shareholders in Block 31 are Exxon Mobil Corp [25%], Sonangol [20%], Statoil ASA [13.3%], Marathon Oil Corp. [10%] and a Total SA subsidiary [5%].
The operations are expected to begin with Plutão, Saturno, Vênus and Marte fields in the north east sector of the block in depths of about 2000m. And while construction will start this year, first oil is expected in 2011 and the building of an estimated 150,000 barrels per day plateau in 2012.
BP said its natural production is expected to plateau at 185 million cubic feet a day.
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