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Angola LNG production falls short

LNG Industry,

The output of Angola’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project will fall short of design capacity after upstream problems including a rig disaster forced it to bring forward new supplies from other blocks.

The US$ 10 billion project is operated by Chevron (34%), Sonangol (22.8%), Total, BP and ENI.

According to Paulo Fernandes, an executive at Sonangol’s production department, the project commenced production this year but has yet to reach maximum production capacity. The Angola LNG project is currently operating at approximately 20% capacity.

After delays of 18 months caused by technical problems, the 5.2 million tpa project made its first export shipment in June and has since shipped another four cargoes.

However a rig disaster in July delayed efforts to link two offshore blocks with the plant, slowing its drive to bring production to full capacity.

The plant's peak production capacity can be achieved only if it receives 1 billion ft3/d of gas from the five offshore blocks authorised to supply the facility. Sonangol believes that the project has the potential to be producing at full capacity by the end of 2014.

A number of upstream setbacks have significantly hindered the prospect of realising production goals next year. In July the drilling rig Perro Negro 6 capsized as it was laying a pipeline linking two of Chevron's blocks with the liquefaction plant. The blocks were due to supply up to 170 million ft3/d of gas to the plant.

"It will delay the delivery of gas from one of the operators, but it won't compromise the Angola LNG project entirely as we have other projects for links," Fernandes said.

Angola is Africa's second biggest oil producer after Nigeria and plans to launch 15 new blocks next year.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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