Chevron: 70 years of commitment in Angola TEY_post_Billy-LACOBIE

We believe that gas developments have the potential to reshape Angola’s energy value chain and create significant benefits for the country and its people.

Billy LACOBIE Managing Director, Southern Africa CABGOC

Chevron: 70 years of commitment in Angola

April 30, 2024

Billy Lacobie, CABGOC’s managing director for Southern Africa, talks to The Energy Year about recent strategic and operational developments in blocks 0 and 14 and the significance of the launch of the Lifua A platform for Angola’s local capacity. CABGOC is a subsidiary of Chevron that operates offshore blocks 0 and 14.

What are the most recent key strategic and operational developments in blocks 0 and 14?
2024 represents a milestone in the history of Chevron in Angola. This year we celebrate 70 years since we initiated our first geological field survey in Cabinda, and we could not be prouder of our journey.
Everything that we do as a company begins with understanding how the energy system is today and how we think it’s going to evolve in the future. That’s the foundation for all our beliefs, which guide our strategy and actions. Every year we go through a process where we assess and update our strategy to ensure we are addressing the challenges at hand and leveraging our strengths to be more competitive.
We have accomplished incredible milestones during our seven decades in Angola. Together with the government of Angola and our joint venture partners, we pioneered deepwater exploration and production in Block 14, leveraged technology to drill across the Congo River Crossing (CRX), successfully operated the first ever cross-border unitisation zone in Southern Africa with the Lianzi project in partnership with the government of the Republic of Congo, and with Lifua A in Block 0, we have proven that we can produce world-class industry infrastructure for our operations in Angola.
Underpinning all our achievements is our persistent belief and investment in people, which we achieve through building local capacity via recruitment and training, and our unparalleled support of local companies. We take great pride in the fact that blocks 0 and 14, as well as our participation in Angola LNG, are at the heart of our legacy in Angola as we move forward.
In Block 0, Lifua A marked a new phase of our operational journey in Angola. Lifua A is the first field developed by applying principles focused on delivering a low cost, short cycle and economic development of new fields, leveraging spare capacity at CABGOC’s existing infrastructure.
Over the last few years, in addition to Lifua and South N’dola, we also made significant progress in critical gas projects, such as the Sanha Lean Gas Connection (SLGC) and booster compression (BC), and the Sanha to Mafumeira Connector (SMC) projects.
SLGC consists of a new platform that ties into the existing Sanha Condensate complex and new connecting pipelines for gathering and exporting gas from blocks 0 and 14 to Angola LNG through the CRX pipeline. SMC, on the other hand, is a key project to de-bottleneck existing gas infrastructure and to also maximise the use of the CRX’s capacity.
SLGC, BC and SMC are critical projects for our business unit, as they will help enhance our ability to continue to deliver production to our onshore facilities in Malongo, Cabinda province, as well as gas to Angola LNG in Soyo.
These projects will not only contribute to CABGOC’s efforts to optimise Block 0’s production, but they also promote development and growth in local economies, directly impacting the lives and wellbeing of communities in Cabinda, Cuanza Sul and the Benguela community, where the fabrication of this infrastructure is being executed.
This year we will continue to focus on the implementation of various operational excellence initiatives that will help improve the reliability and safety of our operations. We also will take a closer look at opportunities to maximise the value of our assets across the concession. These initiatives include, among others, deploying resources efficiently and increasing operational discipline in support of the three pillars of CABGOC’s strategy, which are to grow gas, produce profitable liquids and manage carbon emissions.

What is the significance of the launch of the Lifua A platform for Angola’s local capacity?
Lifua is a milestone achievement for CABGOC and our partners, as well as for the country’s local capacity. The platform, which is in Block 0 offshore of Cabinda province, is the first to be designed, fabricated and installed by Angolan contractors and workers. This demonstrates the remarkable progress and potential of the local oil and gas industry.
We challenged ourselves to fabricate locally and trusted our partners to help us achieve that vision – and we did not stop there. After understanding that local fabrication is a reality, we have replicated the concept with South N’dola in Cuanza Sul and with the Sanha Lean Gas Connection structures in Benguela.
Chevron is committed to developing a safe, reliable, efficient and competitive supply chain of goods and services in Angola through local content and supporting local and community economic development.

What are the main development and production objectives for CABGOC in 2024?
Our strategy is to continue optimising production efficiency and recovery rates. Another key objective is to implement our flaring reduction and gas utilisation projects, which will reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and support Angola’s transition to a lower-carbon economy. These projects include the Sanha to Mafumeira Connector, the South N’dola development and the Sanha Lean Gas Connection project, which will potentially provide gas for power generation and industrial use.
As we continue to deliver our base business, we continue to evaluate other opportunities to increase our portfolio in the region.
Last December, we signed a product sharing agreement with the governments of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo to operate Block 14/23, which is a new concession area where CABGOC holds 31% of participating interest. The concession is in the zone of common interest (ZIC) established between both countries’ maritime areas.
In addition, we continue to work towards delivering the Tombua-Landana re-demarcated area. We are currently drilling an exploration well to enhance production and Block 14’s value to our business.
Recently, we reached an agreement with the national concessionaire, the National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG), and Sonangol P&P to carry out seismic studies in blocks 49 and 50, located in the Lower Congo Basin, adjacent to Block 17 and Block 32’s production areas.
These will be our first assets operated outside of our existing concessions, blocks 0 and 14.


How important is exploration work in CABGOC’s mid- to long-term strategy?
Chevron builds upon a legacy of 70 years of operational excellence in Angola. We have consistently delivered high-quality results in exploration and production activities. Our strategy is clear: leverage our strengths to safely deliver lower-carbon energy to a growing world.
Exploration is an important component of CABGOC’s mid- to long-term strategy, as it enables us to maintain and increase our resource base and unlock new opportunities for growth in Angola and in the region.
We remain committed to helping provide reliable, affordable and ever-cleaner energy; to continue partnering with the Angolan government and our associates to apply our industry-leading exploration and production capabilities; and to developing the country’s vast hydrocarbons potential. We aim to do all this while adhering to the highest standards of safety, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
Looking at business opportunities, we are particularly excited about the prospects of the zone of common interest between Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where we have a leading role as the operator. This offers a unique opportunity to leverage our expertise and experience in both countries and to create synergies and economies of scale across the border, enhancing the value and efficiency of our operations. We are also looking forward to the findings of the seismic survey from blocks 49 and 50, which may lead to further exploration opportunities.

What is the potential for gas developments to reshape Angola’s energy value chain?
CABGOC is proud to be a leader and a partner in gas developments in Angola, as we recognise the strategic importance and the social and environmental benefits of gas utilisation.
History has shown us that the global energy system does not have a history of substitution but of addition, and addition is necessary to meet growing demand. The energy system is immense, and demand is expected to continue to grow, and the current energy challenge is meeting the energy demands of today while building the lower-carbon energy system of tomorrow.
To address this challenge, Chevron is investing to lower the carbon intensity of our operations to meet the demand for oil and natural gas in more sustainable ways, and the potential of gas is one of the solutions.
We believe that gas developments have the potential to reshape Angola’s energy value chain and create significant benefits for the country and its people. Gas is a cleaner and more efficient source of energy that can help Angola provide reliable and affordable electricity for domestic consumption and industrial development, as well as feedstock for petrochemicals and fertilisers, creating value-added products and jobs in key industries such as agriculture, mining and mineral processing.
Angola’s electricity supply is dominated by hydroelectric power generating facilities. Natural gas has the potential to make the power grid more stable, reliable and affordable by supplementing this existing power generating capacity.
For instance, during the dry season or years with less rainfall, investments in efficient gas-to-power infrastructure could bridge the power supply gap. This would increase the ability of the country’s utilities to supply power and further encourage investments in manufacturing and other value-adding industries that would create jobs and grow the economy.
Moreover, gas can enhance Angola’s regional and international role as a gas exporter, generating revenue and strengthening cooperation with neighbouring countries and global markets. Increasing LNG exports would monetise more of the gas that is produced and increase earnings from the oil and gas industry.
Power and gas exports to the region, if properly structured, would alleviate the region’s power crisis and stimulate the growth of the mining industry that is crucial for meeting the demand for materials required for the energy transition.
We have been operating the Angola LNG plant since 2013, producing LNG, LPG and condensate from associated gas produced in offshore blocks. The Angola LNG plant is the largest single investment in Angola’s history, and it has contributed to reducing gas flaring, monetising gas resources and creating a domestic gas market.
We are also working on several projects to increase gas supply and demand in Angola, such as the New Gas Consortium, which aims to develop non-associated gas fields and deliver gas to the Angola LNG plant. In addition, we are supporting the government’s efforts to craft the Gas Master Plan, which outlines the vision and objectives for gas utilisation and exports in Angola.
If this plan is actualised, Angola could become an important exporter of blue ammonia/hydrogen and catalyse the growth of strategic energy-intensive industries (e.g., cement manufacturing, steel making, mining and mineral processing). We believe that gas developments can transform the energy value chain, diversify the economy and create a brighter future for Angola and its people.

What is CABGOC’s approach to local content and capacity-building?
CABGOC is committed to creating value for Angola and its people by developing local content and capacity-building initiatives. Our approach is based on four pillars: employment, training, supplier development and social investment.
We foster the growth and competitiveness of local suppliers by providing them with business opportunities. We have a dedicated Local Content and Supplier Performance Management team that works closely with our suppliers to identify their needs and challenges and to implement improvement plans.
We also collaborate with the Angola Association of Exploration and Production Companies to promote best practices and standards among local suppliers. In 2023 we spent approximately USD 2.1 billion on goods and services, of which 83% was local content spend (100% Angolan-owned companies).
Our HR strategy in Angola is to ensure that our Angolan talent meets our business objectives and creates a sustainable talent pool to attain the current and future challenges for Angola. Our HR philosophy is to ensure that we have the right people with the right skills in the right places at the right time.
We support economic growth in Angola by generating employment: as an example, in 2023 we hired 80 new interns, 12 of which were converted to permanent employees. We also develop our workforce through targeted technical and non-technical development programmes, mentorship and work experiences. With this approach, we have sustained a 93% average nationalisation rate and our Angolan workforce represents 70% of our leadership.
In partnership with local governments, project implementers and joint venture partners, we invest in social programmes focused on people, prosperity and the environment that advance progress and strengthen communities. Our approach is based on the understanding that our success is tied to the success of our communities.
Social investments are made in addition to benefits provided directly through our products, services, operations and social-impact mitigation measures. We work with reputable local and international partners to design and implement projects that address the most pressing needs and create long-term impact.
We could not be prouder to say that we invested more than USD 240 million in social investment programmes in the past 25 years.

How important are decarbonisation efforts for CABGOC?
At Chevron we believe the future of energy is lower carbon – and every business is working to help achieve progress towards that goal. Reducing venting, flaring and fuel gas usage reduces our carbon footprint and makes environmental and business sense.
One of the pillars for CABGOC’s strategy is carbon management. Chevron in Angola created a roadmap in 2020 made up of specific economic opportunities that aim to reduce emissions.
One of these opportunities was capturing vent and flare gas from the South Nemba, East Kokongo and North Nemba facilities and adding it back into the system using simple eductor technology. We have made significant progress in reducing our GHG emissions through process optimisation and cost-effective solutions.
Another example is how we were able to reduce the flaring volume in the Great Takula area after adjusting gas process flow conditions and optimising a pressure relief valve at the gas processing platform.
Our efforts go beyond these activities. In Angola we continue to invest in our operations to improve environmental performance while working with the industry to develop innovations and best practices.
In 2023 an MOU was signed between Chevron New Energies and the Angolan government to explore potential lower-carbon business opportunities in Angola.
Our goals are to evaluate various projects related to nature-based and technological carbon offsets; lower-carbon-intensity biofuels; products such as hydrogen; and carbon capture and storage, and to create a regional centre of excellence to incentivise and attract lower-carbon investments.
Chevron New Energies is a business division from Chevron which provides access to a world-class body of knowledge, experience and technology linked to carbon emission reduction and sustainable technology breakthroughs, such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies.
As Chevron we are leveraging our strengths and building on our capabilities, assets and customer relationships to help drive progress at the speed and scale necessary to meet the world’s goals and play a leading role in energy expansion. With this MOU, we will leverage our world-class operations, experience and expertise to help the government of Angola strengthen its lower-carbon strategy while pursuing energy security through expanding access to reliable, affordable and cleaner energy sources.

How important will Angola continue to be in Chevron’s global portfolio?
Chevron is deeply committed to Angola. We have long-term and strategic partnerships in the country. We operate two offshore concessions and the Angola LNG plant, which were the origin of some of the most prolific and technologically advanced projects in the Southern Africa region, and we have plans to further expand our footprint.
Affordable and reliable energy will continue to play a pivotal role in the world economy, and the journey to a lower-carbon future will still require oil and natural gas because, in many critical areas, there simply are no effective substitutes at scale.
As we are celebrating 70 years in Angola, we are proud of our legacy, and we will continue to ensure that Chevron’s story in Angola continues to be interwoven with the story and history of Angola and its people.
Just like our people are the energy that drives our success as a company, our shared success would not be possible were it not for the leadership of MIREMPET, the ANPG and the collaborative partnerships and relationships we enjoy with our joint venture partners. We are grateful to each and every person in our respective organisations across the world who have in some way contributed to the tapestry of Chevron’s history in Angola.
As we enter this new phase of our legacy in the country, we honour the contributions of everyone who has helped to bring us to this day, and we commit to ensuring that what we do remains the cornerstone of the Angolan oil and gas industry and a catalyst for economic growth and development for the country.

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