Angola - Block 32
Although Block 32 didn’t see first oil until July 27, 2018, with the start of production from the FPSO Kaombo Norte, the block actually became a Total asset back in 1999 under a production sharing agreement signed with Sonangol, Angola’s national oil company. Total is the operator for the block as part of a consortium of partner businesses (the "contractors group”) comprised of companies on four continents.
The Block 32
- Total (operator): 30%
- Sonangol P&P: 30%
- Sonangol Sinopec International (SSI): 20%
- ExxonMobil: 15%
- Galp: 5%
Kaombo — Block 32’s flagship project — will produce 230,000 barrels per day at plateau, or 15% of Angola’s domestic output. Consequently, it’s a strategic asset for both Total E&P Angola, for which it is a growth driver, and the country as a whole.
Kaombo Norte and Kaombo Sul, Kaombo’s twin FPSOs, came on stream on July 27, 2018 and April 1, 2019, respectively. Between them, they handle production for six fields and nine reservoirs Oligocene and Miocene reservoirs and a number of pre-salt fields. These fields make up an impressive “bouquet of spices”:
The Kaombo Spice Bouquet
- Canela (cinnamon)
- Caril (curry)
- Gengibre (ginger)
- Gindungo (Cayenne pepper)
- Louro (bay leaf)
- Mostarda (mustard)
Block 32 contains additional resources aside from Kaombo, whose commerciality is currently being assessed. One new project, known as ACCE (an acronym for the Alho, Cominhos and Cominhos East fields), is shaping up in the northwest portion of the block. It is targeting resources that could be produced using the FPSO Kaombo Norte, adding some 116 million barrels to Kaombo’s total production.
Kaombo is a large-scale deepwater development project, at depths of up to 2,000 meters. That’s no longer something to marvel at, given that Total is now pushing the limits of ultra-deepwater exploration to record depths exceeding 3,000 meters. Nonetheless, Kaombo stands out for its immense scale — six widely scattered fields, nine reservoirs, two FPSOs, more than 300 kilometers of lines, etc. — and for the way it has broken new ground in a variety of areas, from the design of the FPSOs to their operation.
Kaombo: A New Model for Total
- Rather than being built from scratch, Kaombo’s two FPSOs, Kaombo Norte and Kaombo Sul, are actually converted Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs).
- With the Kaombo project, Total E&P Angola has broken new records for local content, with more than 20 million man-hours worked in Angola itself. Yards up and down the Angolan coast, from Ambriz and Porto Amboim to Lobito, were enlisted for umbilical spooling and welding and even, for the first time, to fabricate two topside modules.
- The field operations services contract signed with a third party, Saipem, represented another first for the project. Having already converted the two supertankers into FPSOs, Saipem was asked to manage production operations on both, although Total will retain ownership.
- Using the Kaombo Interactive Collaboration Environment (KICE) housed on Total E&P Angola’s premises in Luanda, specialists can view activities aboard the FPSOs and advise offshore personnel on ways to improve operations. Unlike a smart room, the KICE is not designed to serve as an FPSO control center.
- In the area of HSE, Kaombo borrowed elements of other programs to create a safety campaign, known as Focus, that is uniquely its own. Focus has won adherents in turn and is now being used on other projects.
Today, Kaombo is ramping up. Following first oil on July 27, 2018, Kaombo Norte has seen production rise to 108,000 to 110,000 barrels per day, near the projected plateau level of 115,000 barrels per day. Kaombo Sul, which achieved first oil on April 1, 2019, is producing about 35,000 barrels per day and similarly expects to reach a plateau production rate of 115,000 barrels a day.
Kaombo : scattered reservoirs and a complex configuration