According to a statement published on its website, the ANPG clarifies that these works comply with the "guidelines established by the Angolan Executive in the National Development Plan 2018-2022, for the oil sector, and in compliance with Presidential Decree No. 282/20 of 27 October, which approves the 2020-2025 Angola Hydrocarbon Exploration Strategy".
The agency states that this clarification is due to some "inaccurate" information that is circulating in national and international media and social networks about the ongoing work in the inland basins, especially the Etosha/Okavango Basin.
The inland basins of Kassanje, located in the provinces of Malanje and Uige, and that of Etosha/Okavango, located in Cunene, Cuando Cubango and Moxico, in an area of about 520 thousand square kilometers, are sedimentary, with "a strong possibility of occurrence of crude oil and natural gas".
ANPG states that "of the total existing area only about 20 percent is located in protected areas, which means that it is incorrect and inappropriate to assume that the totality of the inland basins referenced for assessment of their oil potential are protected environmental conservation areas".
The note also states that the studies in these basins began in 2010, with an "aerogravimetric survey that allowed the definition of their limits and the depth of sediments, an important factor to assess the possibility of generating hydrocarbons (crude oil and natural gas)".
After this first part, it was decided that it was important to move on to the second phase, which concerns the performance of environmental impact studies, restoration and repopulation with the aim of "taking care of possible situations that may cause any damage to the environment, although this is not expected, since the collection of samples will be done at the surface".
Accessibility studies will also be made to these basins to allow the teams to move around the area and analyze the geographical situation of the area, explains ANPG.
"The final objective of the field work will be to collect samples at the surface of crude oil and natural gas, the occurrence of which has been reported by the population, as well as to obtain samples of rocks that will be sent for laboratory analysis", advances the note, adding that the final results of the laboratory analysis will be integrated into the maps created in the first phase, "allowing a perspective of the level of prospectivity of the different areas of the basins under analysis".
The agency also stresses that all the activities developed will give priority to areas outside the environmental conservation areas, "and the work in the protected areas will start as soon as legally possible".
The work will be carried out in coordination with the "ministerial department responsible for the environment, which will approve the environmental impact study and coordinate the public consultation".
It will be based on an environmental pre-feasibility study, to be done by an independent entity in coordination with the ministerial department, that the decision will be taken to "bid or not in the protected areas of these basins".
The ANPG also admits that based on the principle of each State has the right to know the resources existing in its territory, it is crucial that studies are carried out before awarding their exploitation to investors.
"It is important to highlight that countries in the region, such as Zambia, Namibia and Botswana, have already gone through the same process, having then, with all safety and respect for the environment, carried out the respective bidding processes", concludes the agency.