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More oil on tap for OPEC member Angola

Project is among the first major new developments of the year.

By Daniel J. Graeber

MILAN, Italy, May 5 (UPI) -- Italian energy company Eni announced Tuesday it was ahead of the curve with what its partners described as a breakthrough operation offshore Angola.

Eni holds a 20 percent stake in a section of the Kizomba project off the coast of Angola. The Italian company said production there has started ahead of schedule.

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Kizomba is part of the country's Kakocha, Bavuca and Mondo South fields.

"The project develops approximately 190 million barrels of oil with peak production currently estimated at 70,000 barrels of oil per day," the Italian company said in a statement.

Adding Kizomba is expected to bring the total daily production from the complex to 350,000 barrels of oil. Exxon Mobil serves as the operator alongside partners BP and Norwegian energy company Statoil.

BP last week said it expected to bring even more projects online off the coast of Angola later this year.

"[Kizomba] is the first of BP's planned start-ups for 2015 and is another successful project from this prolific block," Darryl Willis, BP's regional president, said in a statement.

Angola is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC said Angola has proven crude oil reserves of 9 billion barrels and 9.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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Since entering Angolan waters in 2006, Eni said it's discovered more than 3 billion barrels of oil in place.

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