Angola represents a highly promising natural gas play with proven reserves measured at 11.5 trillion cubic feet. Untapped acreage, opportunities to tie into existing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and power generation infrastructure, and strong partnership potential have further enhanced the market's attractiveness. With the demand for African gas set to increase 155% by 2050, according to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, several major players are accelerating efforts to unlock the full potential of Angola's gas market.
Some of Angola's biggest gas players featured in a panel discussion during the Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) 2023 Conference & Exhibition (https://apo-opa.info/3PTENZ0), organized by Energy Capital & Power, in Luanda on Thursday. Under the theme, 'Optimizing Angola's Gas Potential,' panelists discussed ongoing projects, new opportunities unfolding and how monetization efforts will position the country as a gas-driven economy. The panel was sponsored by Vitol.
"There is a very bright future for gas in Angola," Peter Harriman, COO of Azule Energy, started. Harriman provided insight into the country's first-ever non-associated gas project, stating that, "We have an exciting project underway through Azule Energy - the New Gas Consortium (NGC). The project reached Final Investment Decision last year and is progressing extremely well. We are in full construction mode. We are scheduled to achieve first gas on July 1, 2026 and this is a very big first step for non-associated gas. We are not only able to apply new technology but open the door to non-associated gas, feeding the domestic market and with the potential to feed the export market as well."
With new production on the horizon, Angola plans to retain 25% of production in-country via associated value-added industries by 2030. Manuel Barros, CEO, Sonangol Gas and Renewable Energies, explained that, "Sonangol believes in the gas future of Angola. Initially, gas will be used for the generation of electricity in Cabinda. Our priority is the domestic market, and whatever we have in excess, we will export."
In addition to power generation, Angola offers a wealth of opportunities for gas utilization across the domestic economy. "On the supply side, we have the opportunity to use existing facilities such as the LNG plant – with a capacity of 5.2 million tons per annum - and installed gas pipelines of more than 500km. Gas can be used for blue hydrogen production. This is a trend in the global market, and the hydrogen market can be connected to the fertilizer value chain. We also see methanol production, and along this chain, there are job opportunities," says Américo Fernandes, Natural Gas – Technical Lead, ANPG,
Angola has been an LNG producer since 2013 through the Angola LNG (ALNG) plant. However, the country has plans to significantly increase LNG production, an agenda supported by a strong pipeline of exploration projects underway. These plans require a substantial increase in feedstock, and Chevron has put in place a long-term strategy in this area.
"There is a lot of gas available in different forms, whether that be in associated or non-associated," stated John O-Brien, Commercial General Manager – Southern Africa Strategic Business Unit, Chevron Angola. "ALNG is fortunate in that it can process a broad range of gas feedstock: there are limitations but those limitations can be managed. From a Chevron perspective, we are investing to bring more gas into ALNG. We are increasing supply based on associated gas in Block 0. We are also major investors in the NGC. We don't differentiate how gas is supplied; we are hopeful that the plant will remain operational and at full capacity to bring value to the state and to partnerships."
Speakers on the panel emphasized that the Angola's natural gas is bright, and the market remains open and ripe with opportunity. Keep watching Energy Capital & Power's event coverage and social media channels for more insight into the Angolan energy market via AOG 2023.