Angola recently surpassed Nigeria as the largest crude oil
producing country in Africa, and production is expected to continue
growing as new offshore projects come online.
Although more conservative estimates have recently pegged
Angola's proven oil reserves at around 10 Bbbls, according to the
Angolan oil minister, Angola's total reserve number is around 13
As for natural gas, Angola does produce gas along with its oil,
but it is often vented or flared. This will likely begin to change
as the country plans to capture and market natural gas for domestic
usage and for LNG exports by 2012.
A 30 year civil war in Angola, which ended in 2002, pushed oil
and gas exploration offshore, which is where it largely remains
One of the most prolific offshore areas is Block 17, which Total
operates with a 40% share with Sonangol as the concession holder
and ExxonMobil, BP, and Statoil as shareholders. Fifteen fields
have been discovered on the block and four production projects are
currently underway, including Girassol, Dalia, Pazflor, and
The Girassol field was the first to come online in
December 2001. Girassol is in approximately 4,600 ft of water. The
GIR-1 exploration well discovered the Girassol oil field at 8,202
TVD in April 1996. The well tested at a rate of 12,500 b/d at 32
degrees API. The Jim Cunningham semisubmersible drilled
two appraisal wells, which proved the field commercially
The Girassol field was one of the first large deepwater
development offshore West Africa. The field is developed with 32
subsea wells tied to an FPSO including 18 production wells, 12
water injection wells, and two gas injection wells. There are 145
km of lines and subsea cables that run across the ocean floor,
including 45 km of flowlines, 33 km of water and gas injection
lines, and 77 km of control cable or umbilicals.
The Girassol FPSO was the world's largest at the time
of its construction and installation. It has a storage capacity of
2 MMbbl and a processing capacity of 250,000 b/d. It is spread
moored on location by 16 suction anchors.
Girassol's satellite fields include Jasmim and Rosa. Jasmim was
discovered in April 2000 using R&B Falcon's Jim
Cunningham semisubmersible, which is now owned by Transocean.
The well flowed at a test rate of approximately 11,000 b/d. Jasmim
is about 4 mi from Girassol in approximately 4,200 ft of water.
The Jasmim field was developed with eight subsea wells tied back
to the Girassol FPSO. It came online in December 2003 and
increased production on the Girassol FPSO to 230,000
The Rosa field was discovered in 1998 in about
4,400 ft of water. Rosa was brought online in June 2007 as the
second satellite field tied back nine miles to the Girassol
Rosa's field development includes 25 wells, including 11 water
injection wells and 14 production wells. Adding Rosa production to
the Girassol FPSO required 5,600 additional tons of structure and
equipment to be installed on the FPSO. Once Rosa came online, the
Girassol FPSO produced 250,000 b/d.
Total discovered the Dalia field in 1997 in 4,900 ft of water, and
Dalia has since become one of the world's largest deepwater oil
developments. Total drilled/will drill the 71 Dalia wells, which
are estimated to hold about 1 Bbbl of recoverable reserves. The
subsea production system consists of 37 production wells, 31 water
injection wells, and three gas injection wells, which are tied back
to the Dalia FPSO.
The Dalia FPSO is one of the largest FPSO vessels
built. It is capable of processing up to 240,000 b/d and can store
up to 2 MMbbl.
Total brought the field online in December 2006.
In August 2000, Total made another discovery on Block 17. The Pazflor project includes four fields -
Perpetua, Zinia, Acacia, and Hortensia. Perpetua was the first of
the Pazflor cluster to be discovered and the 10th field overall on
Block 17. It sits in about 2,600 ft of water, and the exploration
well had a flow rate of 8,740 b/d of 20 degree API.
In December 2002, Total made the Zinia discovery in 2,356 ft of
water. It tested at 3,650 b/d. The Acacia and Hortensia discoveries
were made in 2002 and 2003 in 3,379 ft and 2,723 ft of water,
respectively. The last two discoveries made the Pazflor project
commercially viable. The Acacia-1 discovery well tested 13,712 b/d
from two zones and Horensia-1 tested at 5,092 b/d.
The fields will be developed through subsea production lines and
risers to an FPSO. Subsea development includes 25 production wells,
22 water injection wells, two gas injection wells, and West
Africa's first subsea gas/liquid separation system. The wells will
target two different reservoirs. Heavier oil will be recovered from
Miocene reservoirs in 1,969 - 2,953 ft of water and a lighter oil
from Oligocene reservoirs in 3,281 - 3,937 ft of water. Facilities
are scheduled for installation this year, and production will
commence in 2011.
The Pazflor FPSO will have a processing capacity of 200,000 b/d
and 150 MMcf/d and a storage capacity of 1.9 MMbbl.
The fourth major field cluster on Block 17 is expected to come
online in 2011. The CLOV project gets its name from its four fields
- the Cravo, Lirio, Orquidea, and Violeta fields.
Singularly, the fields would not be commercial. But with the
successful drilling of the Orquidea-2 appraisal well in October
2006, Total was able to confirm and expand the potential of its
Orquidea discovery. Orquidea's drilling success confirmed the
commerciality of a fourth production zone in Block 17.
Located approximately 2 km from the Orquidea-1 discovery well in
1,165 m of water, Orquidea-2 identified and confirmed the Miocene
objectives encountered by Orquidea-1 and also identified deeper
Oligocene reservoir levels. The Oligocene and Miocene objectives
are both oil-bearing.
Basic engineering for CLOV was launched in 2008 and field
development started in 2009.� Development includes 40 subsea wells
tied back to an FPSO. Together, the CLOV fields and Pazflor will
add more than 500,000 b/d to Block 17 production.
Adding to its success in the area, Total recently announced a
new Block 17 discovery. In October 2009, Total announced the Gardenia discovery on Block 17/06 in 3,205 ft
of water. The well discovered hydrocarbon reservoirs, both in the
Miocene and the Oligocene. On the Miocene interval, the well
produced 4,000 b/d of 25 degree API oil during tests.
Total serves as the operator and holds a 30% interest; Sonangol
holds 30%; SSI Seventenn holds 27.5%; ACREP holds 5%; Falcon Oil
holds 5%; and Partex Oil holds the remaining 2.5% interest.
The operator continued to appraise the area through 2009.
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