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Angola President Holds Talks with Sonangol, Oil Operators

By Dipo Olowookere

President João Lourenço of Angola has held discussions with Sonangol EP and several oil operators in the country.

The meeting follows a statement issued by the operators to the President of the Executive, who have identified several matters related to their investment strategies and operations in Angola, which are seen as relevant to the continued development of the oil sector.

In their statement, the oil operators identified the excess of bureaucracy in the sector as being unfavourable to the overall development of the industry.

Reinforcing the alignment with the concerns of Sonangol’s partners, and anticipating some solutions, the statutes of Sonangol have recently been revised in light of these identified issues. A hierarchical level has thus been eliminated in the approval pyramid, which will make the whole process of analysis much faster, including approvals of the operators’ dossiers.

Other critical areas for improvement have also been identified, which require total dedication and specialization due to their importance in the business.

These include the management of the concessionaire; the review of old approval processes that have long existed within the company; and the replacement of the Ex-CEO who oversaw the concessionaire’s management and the relationship with its operators.

These functions are now being carried out by two Directors who guarantee full commitment to the best management practices and the appropriate treatment of the challenges to the sector.

At the meeting, Sonangol’s commitment to the ultimate goal of defending and protecting the interests of the Angolan State were reaffirmed.

Sonangol has maintained a constant and transparent dialogue between the operators, the company and the government in order to advance the interests of the national industry.

In July of this year, Sonangol held an international roadshow at the headquarters of the main oil companies to discuss investment plans in Angola and the challenges facing the industry. This event was accompanied by meetings held with each of the operators based in Angola.

Sonangol reached an agreement with the operators to significantly increase the competitiveness of the national oil industry. As a result, production costs per barrel fell by 48% from 2014 to 2016, and cost-cutting and investment efforts led by Sonangol resulted in additional savings of US $ 1.7B in 2017.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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