Natural resources and energy
Angola has large assets of oil, natural gas and diamonds. In addition, the country has iron ore and gold, which, however, have not been mined since the colonial era. Marble, black granite and copper are mined. Angola is considered to be a major producer of electricity from hydropower.
Oil reserves off the coast of northern Angola, mainly in the Cabinda province, are estimated to comprise just over 12 billion barrels. In 2015, Angola was the second largest oil producer in Africa (after Nigeria) and has periodically been the largest. Angola has for several years been China’s largest supplier of crude oil. New Angolan oil wells are regularly used, both further south and deeper into the sea. Production increased from 740,000 barrels per day in 2001 to close to 2 million barrels per day in 2008. Subsequently, production has decreased due to technical problems in several of the deep water fields; In 2014, production averaged 1.6 million barrels. However, a completely new deep-sea deposit was expected to lead to a sharp increase in production: the government estimated 3.5 million barrels per day by 2020.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Angola with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
There is a small refinery for the country’s own oil consumption. A larger refinery is being built. Until it is clear, Angola must continue to import most of its refined oil.
- Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, AO stands for Angola. Visit itypeusa for more information about Angola.
Foreign interests in the oil
The leading US oil companies have paid billions of dollars for the right to drill for oil. In recent years, they have received competition from China’s state oil company Sinopec, which cooperates with Angolan oil company Sonangol. This company is a state in the state and makes huge profits, controlled by the inner circle of political power. Other countries also participate in oil recovery. Prior to President dos Santo’s state visit to France in April 2014, for example, the French oil company Total promised to invest around $ 16 billion in a joint offshore oil recovery project with an estimated start in 2017.
The oil fields also contain large quantities of natural gas. Sonangol, together with an American company, has built a plant that, after major delays and unexpectedly high costs, could begin exporting frozen natural gas in liquid form (LNG) in 2013. Plans are underway to build another plant.
Angola has large assets of high quality diamonds, mainly in the northeastern provinces. Since the unita guerrilla movement in 2002 was forced to hand over control of all mines to the MPLA government (see Modern history), production has increased. Diamond mining is mainly carried out by a growing number of domestic and foreign companies, but there is also an informal sector with thousands of individual diamond miners, although many of them have been expelled in recent years. They sell diamonds to the state’s procurement companies or smuggle them out of the country, which usually results in higher profitability. Earnings from smuggling were previously believed to have been about one-third of total income, but smuggling has recently declined.
Hydropower is being expanded
In the early 2010s, the government estimated that around a third of the population had access to regular electricity supply – in the countryside, only one-tenth was available. Electricity is mainly extracted from hydropower plants in the country’s many rivers. At the end of the war in 2002, the power plants were old-fashioned and too few – maintenance and expansion of dams and power lines had been hampered by the war. A few large dams in the Kwanza River – Capanda and Cambambe – have since been equipped with, among other things, Russian and Chinese assistance and electricity generation has increased significantly. Power lines have been repaired and new ones are planned.
Southwestern Angola receives electricity from the Matala dam in the Cunene River and in the central parts of the country there are several small power plants which are, among other things, powered by biofuels. Despite the expansion, the grid is still weak and poorly maintained. Electricity consumption has risen so much in recent years that long power outages are constantly occurring in the capital Luanda, where three quarters of electricity consumption in the country takes place but where only one in four residents have access to the electricity grid. The electricity shortage is a major obstacle to Angola’s economic development.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
606 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
347 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
34 763 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
1.3 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
49.6 percent (2015)
Intelligence manager may go
President dos Santos dismisses the head of the intelligence service. No reason is officially stated but the incident is linked to the arrest of four people who worked for the security agencies and accused of kidnapping two regime-critical activists in May of that year. The activists have disappeared and are feared to be dead.
The president’s son takes over as chairman
President dos Santos eldest son José Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos is appointed chairman of the new state investment fund (see October 2012).
Armando Manuel becomes Minister of Finance
In the first government reform since the 2012 election, the State Investment Fund’s Chairman Armando Manuel is appointed Minister of Finance.