Map of Repsol in Africa/. Photo: Repsol
Julio García. Madrid
Repsol, the Spanish energy company, wants to push forward with explorations in the African continent, and plan to traverse it this year from north to south in a perforation campaign. 11 of the 20 greatest gas and oil discoveries in 2013 were made in Africa.
Repsol underscores that the continent is undergoing unprecedented exploration, from the deep waters off Angola to the non-conventional resources in the Maghreb. African countries produce one tenth of the world’s oil, but “it is a continent where there is still much to do”, states Didier Lluch, Repsol’s Director of Exploration in Africa and a geologist with 15 years’ experience in the area.
Only 12 of the 54 African nations don’t have hydrocarbons in their territory, and there are still great areas that have been barely explores, like the east of Africa, but also countries considered ripe, like Algeria, which are enormous and still harbour a lot of resources. Repsol, like other big oil companies, are taking positions on the continent and they have mining dominion in nine African countries. This year they will be carrying out drilling in six of them; Libya, Algeria, Mauritania, Liberia, Angola and Namibia.
This company’s portfolio includes offshore blocks in western Africa, where they replicate their activity in Brazil, Morocco and Tunisia, to find non-conventional resources, and in countries like Libya and Algeria, where they already have significant onshore production.
The international oil focus in Africa is in Kwanza (Angola)
Repsol underscores that in 2014 the focus of international industrial activity is in Kwanza, off-shore Angola, with enormous levels of activity. Here the company has begun its first well already. The oil to be found in those waters is high quality, with low sulphur content, and its production has doubled in the last ten years, up to 1.7 million barrels per day, according to data from the OPEP.
The oil company is also exploring countries with no history within the industry, and where the challenges are not all in the soil. Mauritania, for example; work is carried out with logistical difficulties, since the materials need to be transported from Nuakchot, the capital, to Taoudeni, with the difficulties posed by having to cross 400 kilometres of desert.
The company will earmark 950 million euros to their exploration activities across the world, 65% geared towards the search for petrol and 35% to gas. In Africa, each year 70 or 80 possibilities are explored yearly, because of this Repsol is betting on the Atlantic margins, and is considering entering Gabon.