The Angolan state oil firm Sonangol is planning to open its fourth international trading office in China, which is the country’s top crude oil export destination.

Fin24 reports that Angola, which is Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria, sold almost half its crude to China last year. Asia has become Angola’s main market, with India also overtaking the United States  ‒ once the top buyer ‒ as the second-biggest importer of Angolan oil in 2012.

In a presentation here to a visiting Belgian trade delegation, Sonangol chief executive Francisco Lemos Jose Maria commented: “We have three trading offices, selling crude oil, gas and liquefied petroleum gas in America (Houston), the United Kingdom (London) and Singapore, and we are about to establish an office in mainland China for the crude oil trade as well.”  He did not detail when the new office would be opened.

The CEO said Angola was seeking to raise oil production to 2Mbpd from around the current 1.75Mbpd. Once that target was reached the goal would be to sustain the level “for at least 10 years.

Angola’s oil minister said earlier this year that the country wanted to reach the target in 2015.
“We are about to approve oil projects to develop 3 billion barrels in the next few months,” Jose Maria revealed.

Sonangol announced last month that it planned to hold bidding this year for licences to explore for oil onshore in 10 new blocks in the Kwanza and Lower Congo basins. Jose Maria said Sonangol wanted to expand the US$10 billion liquefied natural gas plant, Angola LNG, which started exports this year.

“If there are enough resources, and we believe there are, we will expand the 5.5Mt unit we have in the north of the country,” he added.

US oil company Chevron operates the project with a 36.45%, while Sonangol has a 22.85% stake. Total, BP and ENI hold 13.6% each.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.