‘Great interest in consolidating alliance with Galp’ – Angolan minister of mineral resources

  • Lusa
  • 14 June 2021

Diamantino Azevedo, Angola's minister of mineral resources, oil and gas, said it is "in the best interest" to consolidate the alliance with the Portuguese company Galp.

The Angolan minister of mineral resources, oil and gas believes that it is “in the best interest” to consolidate the alliance with Galp, noting that some projects have yet to be carried out due to the “technological and financial” challenges they represent.

In an interview with Lusa, Diamantino Azevedo spoke about the relationship between Angolan state oil company Sonangol and Galp Energia, an alliance that should be consolidated.

“The interest in preserving and consolidating this alliance is evident and under no circumstances should it be ignored,” the minister said, rejecting the fact that the synergies between the two companies are under-exploited and pointing to the case of  , the result of a joint venture between Galp Energia and Sonangol which operates a network of oil product distribution outlets in Angola.

For this “understanding,” according to Azevedo, it was also relevant that in the upstream segment (oil exploration and production), Sonangol and Galp were in equal circumstances in terms of the size of their stakes in the oil concessions, “without either being ruled out of a future projection to be the upstream operator.

According to the oil official, the “lack of materialisation to date of upstream projects is fundamentally due to consideration of the technological and financial challenges imposed by investments in deep and ultra-deep waters, which are the source of around 70% of Angola’s oil.

“We want to make it clear that, whether in terms of the investments we make or in the form of a stake in Galp, Sonangol will always be attentive to the opportunities that present themselves,” he indicated.

In March of this year, Sonangol, which has an indirect stake in Galp via Amorim Energia, in which it owns 45% through Esperanza Holding, of which Exem Energy, linked to Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, is also a shareholder, admitted the possibility of becoming an independent shareholder.

Azevedo also noted the “potential for establishing synergies” between the two companies in energy transition, giving wind energy as an example.

“We have our own thinking about the energy transition, but we are not dissociated from it, both at a national level and in the oil sector,” he said, noting that Sonangol was developing two solar photovoltaic power plants and developing green hydrogen projects at its research centre.

The minister also noted that there was interest from new players to enter the Angolan market: “We have a good relationship with the international companies that operate in Angola. We are in constant interaction, and we are sure that they will look favourably on our measures.

“We see interest from all sizes of companies that are not yet in our country to operate here in the oil industry in Angola,” he noted.

Azevedo acknowledged that this was a “difficult time, not only for the oil industry,” but believed that companies were appreciating the changes that the Angolan government has promoted to improve the sector’s attractiveness.

The study on the competitiveness of the oil industry in Angola that is being conducted will, he added, “provide more grounds for making changes, if necessary, to our legislative package.