Economic recovery for OPEC-member Angola shaky

Economic recovery for OPEC-member Angola shaky

June 12 (UPI) — Economic recovery for Angola, an OPEC member coping with declining production, is progressing but it’s still uncertain over the long term, the International Monetary Fund found.

IMF data show Angola’s economy moving in positive direction, with gross domestic product indicating slow recovery from recession in 2016, growth of 1.0 percent in 2017 and 2.2 percent forecast for this year.

Angolan energy company Sonangol is working with a group of international partners on how to make the country’s oil sector more attractive to investors. Action taken by President João Lourenço, meanwhile, would make it easier for major oil players to grab new acreage offshore.

French supermajor Total leads a consortium developing the Zinia 2 offshore development in Block 17 of the Pazflor field. A budget of $1.2 billion will be used to tap nine wells connected to an existing floating production storage and offloading unit. Zinia 2 has a production capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day.

Production could kick up even further once production from the deepwater Kaombo field starts this summer. The field could have a peak capacity of around 230,000 bpd.

The IMF found reform policies steered by Lourenço could improve a weak business environment characterized by a history of corruption. IMF economists “urged concerted efforts to ensure that the reforms are implemented consistently for Angola to reap the expected gains.”

Real GDP continues to grow, with support from non-oil sectors. Weak economic activity over the last three years, meanwhile, has hurt the country’s banking sector and inflation remains high.

“The economy is experiencing a mild recovery but significant imbalances remain,” the IMF’s report read.

Angola is party to the effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Economies to stabilize the oil market with voluntary production cuts. An over-supply situation pushed the price of oil below $30 per barrel in early 2016, bruising the economies of major producers.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was close to $77 per barrel early Tuesday.