Board Named, New Chapter Started in Angola

Angola is Africa’s second largest oil producer, with production in excess of 1.8 million barrels of oil per day and a growing reserves base in excess of about 10 billion barrels of oil. The country boasts huge geoscience activity plus the presence of major oil and gas companies.

Clearly, the need to have a community and forum for the advancement of professionalism and knowledge-sharing among the growing numbers of earth scientists within Angola cannot be over emphasized.

That need – for a dedicated community for geoscientists to come together under a common platform, especially for technical discussion and networking – precipitated the formation of the new AAPG Angola Chapter board.

Geoscience representatives from Chevron, Total, Gaffney-Cline, BP, Exxon and UAN University came together for their first meeting in July, and minutes of the founding meeting showed the board determined to promote recruiting of industry geoscientists for AAPG and play an active role in the planning and execution of the inaugural as well as future AAPG Angola Chapter events.

The chapter’s inaugural event was held Oct. 9 at the Hotel Tropico in Luanda.

AAPG Africa Region secretary Antonio Ingles, Malongo subsurface team earth scientist with Chevron Latin America/Africa E&P in Angola who also serves as the AAPG Angola Chapter board chair, noted, “With over 200 people in attendance, the success of the inaugural event exceeded expectations.”

Among the distinguished guests was Angola’s Minister of Petroleum José M. Botelho de Vasconcelos, who gave the keynote speech, in which he:

  • Acknowledged AAPG as a world class professional organization.
  • Highlighted the benefits to Angola of AAPG’s presence in the country.
  • Pointed out that Angola became the seventh African country to have AAPG presence, after Lybia, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco and Ghana.

The event also included a technical presentation given by Christian Seyve, TOTAL Angola, titled, “Mussulo Bay: A Modern Analog for Key Angolan Oilfields.”

Other distinguished guests at the event included Sonangol’s administrator for upstream, and managing directors of Chevron, ExxonMobil, Total, ConocoPhillips, BP, Statoil, Maersk Oil and Schlumberger.

Fifteen fourth- and fifth-year geoscience students from Agostinho Neto University helped with the event as volunteers.

Plenty of Potential

Before the Angola Chapter, AAPG Africa Region supported the Deep Water Offshore West Africa Conference (DOWAC), held in Angola in 2007.

Many members of the AAPG community within and outside Africa Region have had long professional ties with Angola. For example, award-winning AAPG member Tako Koning, program chair for the new AAPG Angola Chapter, served on the organizing committees for all three regional DOWAC Conferences held to date.

Also, the election of Antonio Ingles as secretary-treasurer for AAPG Africa Region 2010-12, followed by his election as Africa Region secretary 2012-14, eventually signified it was only a matter of time before a platform such as this was created in Angola.

“The new AAPG Angola Chapter will provide the opportunities for geoscientists to gather and discuss technical issues and solutions, which will lead to technology transfer within the scientific community working the West Africa oil patch and new contacts made across the main interest groups present in the country and sub region,” said Africa Region President, Gilbert Odior. “This is the industry helping itself to become more efficient and effective by sharing learnings in the interests of all.”

Schlumberger Angola’s managing director David Viela gave the AAPG Africa Region remarks in Portuguese on behalf of Nosa Omorodion, Africa Region member of AAPG Advisory Council and past Region president. Quoting Omorodion, Viela read:

“With the distinguished guests present at this inaugural event as witnesses, I boldly re-echo this belief that the AAPG Angola Chapter will play an active contributory role as a catalyst and repository of ideas that will serve the Angola oil and gas community and the country very well in the drive to grow reserves and increase production.”

It was with an obvious sense of pride and relief that Ingles said:

“Overall, I believe we had an AAPG event that honors the AAPG name.”

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