- Minister of Natural Resources and Petroleum,
- CEOs of Sonangol and the National Agency for Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels,
- Distinct political business personalities,
- Esteemed delegates,
- Illustrious Invitees,
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
It was with great enthusiasm and interest that I received the official invitation for the opening of this Angola Oil & Gas conference and the exhibition that accompanies it, since I deem the approach to the issues related to oil and gas in Angola of extreme importance and, in spite of our efforts to diversify, these products still occupy a key place in our economy.
Unfortunately, in the last years, various technical, operational and strategic constraints have caused a reduction in petroleum production, and thus forced the government to take various measures in order to comply with the goals and objectives of the National Development Plan 2018-2022 for the petroleum sector.
Apart from various presidential decrees that seek to regulate petroleum activities, several important laws were approved in judiciary-legal areas, with emphasis for legislation that establishes the general investment principles and the respective fiscal regime for prospection, exploration, evaluation, production and the use of natural gas.
Both Sonangol and other private oil companies will now have the right to research, evaluate, develop, produce and sell natural gas in the internal market and export it, disposing of specific and longer periods for the exploration of natural gas, as compared with crude oil.
The Development and Consolidation Program for the Petroleum and Gas Tier, included in the National Development Plan for 2018-2022, comprises three big goals to boost and intensify the replacement of reserves to attenuate the marked production decline, to guarantee self-sufficiency of refined products through the construction of new refineries and the expansion of the existing one and the improvement the fuel and lubricant distribution network in the country through the expansion of storage capacity.
The government has also decided to reorganize the oil sector, and, in February, created the National Agency for Petroleum Gas and Biofuels to take on the role of national concessionaire for hydrocarbon licenses.
The government is also regenerating Sonangol, focusing on its core business around the crude oil and natural gas value chain, to reinforce the role of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Petroleum and liberalize the fuel derivative commercialization and distribution sector, creating to that effect the Regulating Institute for Petroleum Derivatives (IRPD).
Considering that Angola imports around 80 percent of the petroleum derivatives it consumes because of a lack of internal refining capacity, the government made it one of its main priorities to build the Lobito and Cabinda refineries and to rehabilitate the Luanda refinery.
We maintain the possibility open to build another refinery, in this case in Soyo, if the current research on crude supply so warrants.
At the same time, the government decided to increase fuel and lubricant storage capacity and the number of gas stations in the whole country, counting on private initiative to reach this goal.
Also, in order to increase petroleum reserves, the General Strategy for Petroleum Concessions for the 2019-2025 period and the proposal for the new Gas Consortium was approved.
This being a capital-intensive and technologically advanced sector, its importance will be even bigger if it increasingly incorporates qualified Angolan workforces.
To this effect, the government has encouraged, namely through the revision process of the Local Content Law, the oil companies to comply with their training programs and to promote recruitment, integration, training and development of Angolan officials in the entire petroleum industry hierarchy.
In the scope of improvement of technical-professional training, the renovation and modernization of the National Petroleum Institute and the construction of the Higher Petroleum Institute, both in the Cuanza-Sul provinces, is also in course.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Africa has great unexplored hydrocarbon potential, and so has something to say about the energy security of the continent itself and of the industrialized world in general. In this aspect, Angola occupies one of the top spots on the continent.
The Angolan government is aware of this reality and its potential, aligning itself perfectly with the motto of this conference, that considers petroleum and gas as catalyzers for a new dynamic, renewable and self-sustainable dynamic economy.
For this reason, I salute the important politicians and executives of companies linked to the world oil industry, who dignified us with their presence, and who will definitely enrich the discussion of proposed themes for debate.
At a time when Angola is committed to attracting investment and promoting partnerships and business in all segments of the energy and oil industry value chain, the organization of this conference allows to better showcase the vision the country has for its petroleum and gas industry to potential foreign investors.
I declare the Angola Oil & Gas Conference 2019 open!
Thank you for your attention!