Angola's oil output dips to 1.6-1.7 mm bpd

Oct 15, 2008 02:00 AM

Angola's oil production has fallen to close to 1.6 mm or 1.7 mm bpd from a high of around 2 mm bpd earlier in 2008, Angola's oil minister said.
The drop resulted from an "accident" at the deepwater Block 18 field off the coast of the oil-rich Cabinda province, Oil Minister Jose Vasconcelos told at the opening of the new parliament in Luanda.

"Oil production suffered a little reduction in the last two months. It is now close to 1.6 or 1.7 mm barrels of oil a day," said Vasconcelos, who took over as minister after the ruling MPLA's victory in a parliamentary poll in September.
He added that the problem at Block 18 had been fixed and production had resumed. The field normally produces 200,000 barrels of oil a day.

Oil has been the backbone of an economic boom in Angola, which is rebuilding its infrastructure after a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. The MPLA government has encouraged foreign firms to invest in the oil sector. Angola rivals Nigeria as sub-Saharan Africa's largest oil producer.
Vasconcelos said the government would make the construction of a long-delayed oil refinery a priority and was interested in developing the south-western African nation's natural gas sector. A new oil refinery has been in the works for several years in Lobito, the port city south of Luanda.

The MPLA, in power since independence from Portugal in 1975, won a massive majority in the September 5-6 poll.
It has signalled that it will continue with pro-business policies and increase social spending.

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