Skip Navigation LinksMy Argus / News / News Story

Printer friendly

Opec Africa crude capacity to fall by 2023: IEA

05 Mar 2018 13:25 GMT
Opec Africa crude capacity to fall by 2023: IEA

London, 5 March (Argus) — Crude production capacity at Africa's Opec members will decline over the coming six years because of steady declines at ageing fields and a lack of investment, according the IEA.

Crude capacity in the four African Opec member countries Angola, Nigeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea will total 3.35mn b/d in 2023, a decline of 9pc from just under 3.7mn b/d in 2017. Angolan crude capacity will see the largest decline, second only to Venezuela among Opec members, the IEA said in its Oil 2018 report — its outlook to 2023.

Production capacity in Angola will slide to 1.29mn b/d by 2023 from 1.65mn b/d last year as output declines at mature fields continue and costly projects are delayed or abandoned.

The start-up of Chevron's Mafumeria Sul and Italian firm Eni's East Hub projects have failed to stem Angola's downward trending output. Capacity will be stable this year — supported by the start-up of Total's 230,000 b/d Kaombo project "as soon as possible during summer 2018" — it will resume its decline from 2019 and decelerate through until 2023.

Nigeria is the only African Opec member expected to experience a rise in capacity, albeit only a marginal one. Crude capacity will peak at 1.83mn b/d in 2020, compared with 1.7mn b/d last year, although will settle only slightly higher than current levels at 1.75mn b/d by 2023, the IEA said.

The early boost will be driven by the start later this year of Total's roughly 200,000 b/d offshore Egina project, the floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel for which has already arrived. But a general lull in deep-water investment projects means any capacity growth is expected to be slight in the coming years. Progress is uncertain on projects such as the Zabazaba field.

Equatorial Guinea's crude capacity will ease to just 0.11mn b/d in 2023, from 0.13mn b/d as the majority of the country's producing fields are in decline. The IEA said some additional upstream investment is expected from recently awarded exploration acreage, and production capacity could rise at ExxonMobil's Zafiro project if recent discoveries are exploited.

Gabonese crude capacity will slip to 0.2mn b/d in 2023 from 0.21mn b/d last year, and a peak of around 0.4mn b/d just under two decades ago, the IEA said. A lower oil price environment has led majors such as Shell and Total to sell their assets in the country last year. Shell is considering the sale of its offshore assets in the country, according to the IEA.

Potential upside to African crude capacity comes from two current non-producers, Kenya and Uganda. The IEA expects Kenyan crude output to have started by 2023, highlighting UK-listed independent Tullow Oil's proposed 60,000-80,000 b/d Lokichar basin project. In Uganda, the IEA expects enough progress from planned projects in the region to result in average output of 60,000 b/d by 2023.