Sonangol and a unit of France's Total will break ground on a new deepwater oil pumping project that will add over 30,000 barrels a day to Angola's oil production, the state oil company said. The project, part of the offshore Rosa oil production field north of the capital Luanda, involves four multi-phase high-pressure pumps installed close to the bottom of sea and will link up with an existing subsea network for pumping crude, the company said. "These pumps allow recovery of about 42 million barrels of additional reserves," Sonangol said in a statement seen by Reuters.
The project involves Total's Angola unit which operates Angola Block 17, Sonangol said. The additional pumping capacity will be a boost for the southern African nation whose coffers have suffered as a result of a sharp slide in oil prices since mid-2014.
Oil output represents 40 percent of Angola's gross domestic product and over 95 percent of its export revenue. Fallen oil prices have sapped dollar inflows, dented the local kwanza currency, hammered public finances and prompted heavy government borrowing.
Last month, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos appointed a government team to help reorganise the oil sector, including Sonangol, although he did not give details of the plan.