"There is indeed this international concern [about the decline in oil production in Angola], but we are here internally doing our work, the decline in production is natural in any country in the world", replied the chairman of the board of directors from ANPG - National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels, Paulino Jerónimo.
"I often see examples of countries that produced 3.6 million barrels and today are producing 1.2 million, so it is a natural decline, what I consider unnatural is that we do nothing to exonerate this decline and that is what fact that we are doing now", he maintained.
Speaking in Luanda, after the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between ANPG, Sonangol Pesquisa & Produção and ExxonMobil, the official downplayed international projections on the drop in oil production in Angola.
He referred that when the agency was created there were already decrees signed by the President of the Republic and a working group, created by João Lourenço, "which created a series of instruments to reactivate the oil sector".
"And we, as an agency, had the mission of implementing them", he stressed, exemplifying the marginal fields, "discovered over many years and not developed and which were not economically viable in the light of existing contracts".
He pointed to the possibility of carrying out exploration within developing areas, "such as gas production", considering that they are measures that "allowed the stabilization of production, especially in 2021, 2022 and with the same perspectives for 2023".
"We see that we already have a certain stabilization, not forgetting that we came from a production peak of 1.9 million barrels/day in 2008 and that in August of the same year we reached 2 million barrels/day", he justified.
However, since then, there has been a "decline, at first gently, then abruptly" and the work "was in fact an agreement with operators", such as ExxonMobil, with whom an agreement was reached on "the development of mature fields in block 15 and it has been a success", he pointed out.
"In practice, to say that we have taken a series of measures in order to stabilize production, looking outside, there is always no detailed information, definitely we are the ones who have detailed information about what is happening in Angola", continued the president of the ANPG.
"We have signed agreements with block 14, block 15, block 17, with block 18, block 31, all these agreements plus the marginal fields will stabilize production", he said.
In addition to the stabilization of production, justified Paulino Jerónimo, the national concessionaire also has "strategies" for granting concessions and operating: "And, definitely, we have all the instruments at hand in order to exonerate this decline".
"In practice we managed to see a certain stabilization when compared to the last two years, we have a certain stabilization, of course we have to continue working in order to guarantee this stabilization until ExxonMobil makes the discovery in Namibe", he noted, alluding to the drilling of the first research well in the Namibe basin, starting in 2024.
"Because in fact we have enough today to maintain stabilization", he insisted, arguing that the country needs new discoveries, "to invert the upward curve", pointing to ongoing projects, such as mature fields.
Paulino Jerónimo was one of the signatories of a memorandum of understanding for blocks 30, 44 and 45 of the Namibe basin, together with the Angolan state company Sonangol and the US company ExxonMobil.