ExxonMobil, Angola partner to boost domestic oil and gas production with new offshore discovery

According to Angola’s National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANPG), ExxonMobil has made an oil discovery in the Likembe-01 exploration well offshore Angola, in partnership with Azule Energy, Equinor and Sonangol.

The offshore discovery was made in the Kizomba B development area in Block 15. Drilling took place between February and April 2024, in water depths of 1,200 m. The well encountered reservoirs of Miocene age, and reached a final depth of 3,013 m.

According to ANPG, ExxonMobil identified possible high-quality sand packages containing oil and gas.The Likembe-01 exploration well is the first drilled since Angola’s government made a commitment to boost investments in its oil and gas sector and increase production, which the agency refers to as the “Incremental Production” project.

Block 15, one of Angola’s major oil-producing blocks, has seen decreasing output from its mature fields in recent years. In 2019, ExxonMobil signed a redevelopment deal with state-owned Sonangol to increase production from the license, which holds approximately 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of recoverable resources.

While the discovery is still in its early stages, it could provide encouragement to Angolan officials seeking to boost output amid years of underinvestment, technical challenges, and insufficient exploration, leading to a decline in oil production. The government heavily relies on oil revenues, making efforts to boost production vital for economic stability.

ExxonMobil’s 40,000 b/d Bavuca South-1 oil discovery in 2022 was the first since 2003 and signaled renewed potential in the area. The Likembe-01 discovery strengthens the potential of Block 15, potentially revitalizing Angola’s oil sector, which plays a crucial role in the country’s economy. This brings the total number of discoveries on Block 15 to 18.

ExxonMobil holds a 40% interest in the block, operating alongside partners Sonangol, Equinor from Norway, and Azule Energy, a joint venture between BP and Eni. Block 15 is among the three deepwater blocks held by ExxonMobil offshore Angola.ExxonMobil’s recent discoveries underscore its strategic focus on expanding its global oil exploration portfolio.