Angola to launch big oil block under shadow of OPEC cuts

The Kaombo Norte floating production, storage and offloading vessel can pump 115,000 barrels per day, half the oil block’s eventual production. (Courtesy Total)
Updated 09 March 2018

Angola to launch big oil block under shadow of OPEC cuts

LONDON: The first vessel that will pump and store oil for Angola’s 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) Kaombo project is en route to the West African nation, operator Total said.
The Kaombo oil block will produce its first oil this summer, Total said on Thursday. Once it is fully up and running, it will add roughly 14 percent to the OPEC member’s average 2017 output of 1.632 million bpd.
The Kaombo Norte floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel left Singapore earlier this week, Total said. It can pump 115,000 bpd, half the oil block’s eventual production.
The $16 billion offshore project will add a significant amount of oil to Africa’s number two exporter at a time when it is bound by output limits under a deal orchestrated by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
A source close to the project said the block was expected to pump roughly 100,000 bpd by August.
Another FPSO, Kaombo Sul, is still in Singapore.
OPEC is reducing output by roughly 1.2 million bpd as part of a deal with Russia and other producers that began in January 2017 and was extended until the end of 2018.
So far, Angola has complied comfortably, pumping even less than the maximum agreed. Last month, its output of 1.6 million bpd amounted to 194 percent of compliance with promised cuts of 78,000 bpd.
Declining production at mature fields has cut into Angola’s output, but the Kaombo addition could complicate efforts to maintain compliance.
Angola’s state oil company Sonangol has said production will be roughly steady this year, and the above-target cuts earlier in the year could keep its average compliance for the year within OPEC’s limits.
Longer term, Angola is expected to struggle just to maintain output, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) warning that only Venezuela will see a bigger drop in production over the next five years.
Angola’s oil production peaked at 1.9 million bpd in 2008, the IEA said, warning in its five-year outlook that capacity will drop by some 370,000 bpd by 2023 even with the new projects.
“Angola is expected to post the biggest slide in capacity after Venezuela as aging oil fields lose steam and foreign investors, faced with relatively uncompetitive prospects, lose enthusiasm,” the IEA said.


Fear of food shortages after Beirut explosion hits grain reserves

Updated 06 August 2020

Fear of food shortages after Beirut explosion hits grain reserves

  • Beirut port silos had capacity for 120,000 tons

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s main grain silo at Beirut port was destroyed in a blast, leaving the nation with less than a month’s reserves of grain but enough flour to avoid a crisis, the economy minister said on Wednesday.

Raoul Nehme told Reuters a day after Tuesday’s devastating explosion that Lebanon needed reserves for at least three months to ensure food security and was looking at other storage areas.

The explosion was the most powerful ever to rip through Beirut, a city torn apart by civil war three decades ago. The economy was already in meltdown before the blast, slowing grain imports as the nation struggled to find hard currency for purchases.

“There is no bread or flour crisis,” the minister said. “We have enough inventory and boats on their way to cover the needs of Lebanon on the long term.”

He said grain reserves in Lebanon’s remaining silos stood at “a bit less than a month,” but said the destroyed silos had only held 15,000 tons of the grain at the time, much less than capacity which one official put at 120,000 tons.

Beirut’s port district was a mangled wreck, disabling the main entry point for imports to feed a nation of more than 6 million people.

Ahmed Tamer, the director of Tripoli port, Lebanon’s second biggest facility, said his port did not have grain storage but cargoes could be taken to warehouses 2 km (about one mile) away.

Alongside Tripoli, the ports of Saida, Selaata and Jiyeh were also equipped to handle grain, the economy minister said.

“We fear there will be a huge supply chain problem, unless there is an international consensus to save us,” said Hani Bohsali, head of the importers’ syndicate.

UN agencies are meeting on Wednesday to coordinate relief efforts for Beirut, Tamara Al-Rifai, a spokeswoman for the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, said from Amman. “People are extremely poor, it’s increasingly difficult for anyone to buy food, and the fact that Beirut is the largest port in Lebanon makes it a very bad situation,” she said.

“We are looking at Tripoli, but it is a much smaller port.”

Reserves of flour were sufficient to cover market needs for a month and a half and there were four ships carrying 28,000 tons of wheat heading to Lebanon, Ahmed Hattit, head of the wheat importers union, told Al-Akhbar newspaper.

Lebanon is trying to transfer immediately four vessels carrying 25,000 tons of flour to the port in Tripoli, one official told LBCI news channel.