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Paulino Fernando de Carvalho Jerónimo

ANGOLA - Energy & Mining

Paulino Fernando de Carvalho Jerónimo

CEO, National Agency of Oil, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG)

Bio

Paulino Fernando de Carvalho Jerónimo holds a master’s in geophysics from the Higher Institute of Oil and Gas of Azerbaijan Azisbekova. He has more than 33 years of experience in the oil industry, having held leading positions including exploration director at Sonangol Pesquisa & Produção, a member of the research & production executive committee, sole manager of Sonangol Hidrocarbonetos Internacional, executive director of SNL EP, chairman of the executive committee of SNL EP, and secretary of state for petroleum.

"We need to identify the reserves we have yet to tap."
ANPG was established as a significant initiative by the Angolan government to reorganize the oil sector, optimize production around the country, and incentivize more investment into the sector.
What has been ANPG’s strategy in the country since its establishment?

ANPG was established in 2019, and the first thing we did was define an ambitious and clear strategic plan focused on implementing a robust institution capable of facing the industry’s challenges and execute actions and initiatives to mitigate the decline in production and reserves that the country has been dealing with for the last few years. In this strategic plan we set out our mission, vision, and values and defined four main objectives: consolidate the function of the regulator and the national concession in ANPG; work to reverse the decline in production; focus on HSE best practices; and take care of our people. The first objective was to optimize the function of the regulator, and here we successfully transferred people, processes, and critical tools from Sonangol. To tackle the decline in production, weworked with our industry partners to develop a plan to prevent downtime in production as well as with operators to identify ways to maximize the production of mature fields. In addition to proposing seismic testing to accurately determine the status of non-producing areas, we partnered with several operators on concessions license extensions and redevelopment plans to enable additional investment and increase production. We have a new decree in place that gives investors the right to explore, develop, produce, and monetize gas, which formerly only lied with the state. This paved the way for the creation of a new gas consortium operated by ENI, for which we recently approved the final investment decision for the development of the non-associated gas fields in northern Angola. The majority of gas produced here will be sent to Angola LNG. Over the past 20-30 years, we have had several marginal fields discoveries. There are around 4 billion barrels of reserves that we are not producing from such marginal fields, and with the new decree, we will be able to do so. Furthermore, we are conducting exploration as a result of the bidding rounds strategy approved in 2019. There were only three such rounds in the 20 years before 2019, though under this strategy, we have done three bidding rounds in the last four years awarding more than 20 blocks, with plans to hold two more rounds before 2025. We believe this is the best way to mitigate the decline of production in the mid to long term.

In order to achieve further improvements, ANPG is carrying out a study on the competitiveness of the Angolan oil sector versus other countries. Could you specify what these improvements entail?

We need to identify the reserves we have yet to tap. One example is related to the frontier areas for exploration. Contractual and fiscal terms for those frontier areas have no comparisons, while existing mature areas are operated more or less on identical terms. The study has revealed we need to pay attention to new frontier areas, such as the Namibe and Benguela basins. The prospects in frontier basins merit new, better terms than those in place for mature areas. Another challenge to attracting new investments for mature fields is that the contract share of oil proceeds at this stage stipulates an 80-20 profit split between the state and companies. We realized we need to better incentivize companies to invest more and are working on the issue, with certain suggestions already on the table for discussion.

Angola boasts an array of renewables including solar, wind, and hydropower. What is the country’s strategic plan to reach international standards in this endeavor?

The president has created a body coordinated by the Ministry of Energy to follow up on the energy transition. The nation is also increasing power generation through alternative sources such as solar energy. Total is building a solar facility in Huila, while ENI is building another one in Namibe. Our energy transition starts with producing oil with a reduced carbon footprint. We are working with our industry partners to reduce gas emissions, as our energy transition starts with emitting less carbon. Angola produces oil not only to generate energy, but also as export revenue to be channeled into wider national development, which means we cannot abruptly step away from this resource.

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