Angola has experienced increased exploration and development activity from the oil and gas industry over the last decade and is now one of the largest producers of crude oil in Africa. This production will continue to move higher as more projects come on line.

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Angola Overview
Angola reported proved oil reserves of 13.5 billion barrels in 2010, according to the BP Statistical Review of Energy, an annual report compiled by BP (NYSE:BP). This level of proved reserves is probably outdated and has not been increased by BP since 2007.

Oil production from Angola averaged 1.85 million barrels per day in 2010, and is set to increase as several new offshore fields come on line in 2012. Since domestic oil consumption is low, almost all of this oil production is exported, with China and the United States as the two largest consumers of Angolan crude oil.

(NYSE:CVX) is one of the largest oil and gas operators in Angola with interests in three offshore blocks and one onshore area. The company is also involved with Angola LNG Limited, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) joint venture located onshore.

Chevron reported gross oil and liquids production of 543,000 barrels per day from Angola in 2011, with the largest share coming from offshore Block Zero, which is operated and 39.2% owned by the company. Block Zero produces from 21 fields and had gross production of 365,000 barrels of liquids per day in 2011.

SEE: A Primer On Offshore Drilling

Chevron is working on a new field development on Block Zero called Mafumeira Sul, which will add capacity of 110,000 barrels of crude oil and 10,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas when completed. Chevron's partners on Block Zero include Eni (NYSE:E) and Total (NYSE:TOT). Chevron also operates offshore Block 14 and reported gross production of 187,000 barrels of liquids per day from this block in 2011.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) operates offshore Block 15, with partners BP, Eni and Statoil (NYSE:STO). Exxon reported its first discovery here in 1998 and has increased production on Block 15 to more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day through five separate development projects since that time.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) is also active in Angola and holds a 10% working interest in offshore blocks 31 and 32. Block 31 is operated by BP, which is progressing on the PSVM Development. The project is expected to start production in 2012 and have peak gross productive capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil per day.

SEE: Unearth Profits In Oil Exploration And Production

The Bottom Line
Angola has attracted the attention of some of the world's largest oil and gas companies as they look for investment opportunities across the world. These multiyear projects are now paying off for these operators and Angola.

At the time of writing, Eric Fox did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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