BP has gained access to five more deepwater exploration and production blocks offshore Angola
These give BP a leading position in Angola, with interests in nine blocks accounting for a total acreage of 32,650 sq km. In a recent ceremony in Luanda, attended by state oil company Sonangol's president Manuel Vincente and BP group chief executive Bob Dudley, the production sharing agreements were signed for four new blocks covering 19,400 sq km in the Kwanza and Benguela basins.
Separately, BP has recently taken a 40 per cent stake in the 4,840 sq km Block 26 in the Benguela basin, by agreeing a farm-in deal with Brazilian national oil company, Petrobras, which operates the block.
"In October, we told the markets we would build on our strengths in exploration and in the deepwater to provide future growth for BP,” said Dudley. “This new access builds on the major presence we have developed in Angola over the past 10 years, investing a total of US$21bn in the business. We plan to double our global spend on exploration and this huge new acreage gives us more great opportunities. We look forward to working with Sonangol in the Kwanza and Benguela basins. The last 14 months have been our most successful for a decade in gaining new access for exploration - with 69 new exploration licences in 11 countries."
BP already has stakes in four blocks in Angola: Blocks 15 & 17 non-operated; 18 & 31 BP-operated. BP has production from Blocks 15, 17 and 18. Reported production in 2010 was 170,000 net bpd. BP's exploration programme on Block 31, deploying leading seismic imaging technologies, has so far led to 19 discoveries, five of which are subsalt, which is traditionally difficult to image.
BP expects its first development in Block 31, PSVM, to start production in 2012 producing 150,000 gross bpd at plateau. BP's share is 26.67 per cent. The geology of the Kwanza and Benguela basins is thought to mirror Brazil's hydrocarbon-rich pre-salt regions. BP has interest in 10 blocks offshore Brazil through last year's acquisition of Devon Energy assets.