Equinor speaker interview for CAPE 2022
By Nina Koch, Country Manager of Equinor in Angola
Nina Birgitte Koch was appointed Managing director of Equinor Angola in September 2019. Before, Nina hold the position as Equinor Canada president.
Nina has more than 25 years of broad leadership experience within the energy sector, including several senior vice president positions, and draws from a diverse skillset within finance, controlling, strategy and business development, operations, and risk management.
Nina holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Business administration from the Copenhagen Business School and a Master’s by the Norwegian School of Management’s “Change Management,” program.
Our African journey started more than 30 years ago when we entered Angola in 1991. Currently, we have activities in five countries – Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Angola. Africa is responsible for almost 30 % of the oil produced from our international assets with close to 190 thousand of barrels per day last year. We’ve established our business in Algeria almost 20 years ago. Since then, we’ve been developing two of the largest gas fields in the country, in Salah and Amenas, in partnership with Sonatrach. Together, they’ve delivered around 47 thousand boe to Equinor in 2021. In Angola, we’re partners in three deep-water blocks – 17, 15 and 31, operated by TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil and BP respectively, in production for about 20 years. Last year, we’ve added two new exploration licenses to our asset portfolio – blocks 1/14 operated by Eni and 29 by TotalEnergies, located in the prolific Kwanza basin. Angola has consistently been one of the greatest contributors to our oil production outside of Norway with 106 thousand boe added to Equinor’s reserves last year. We’ve been present in Libya for more than 27 years with two fields onshore, Murzuq and Mabruk. Production from Murzuq has recommenced in 2020 and plans are underway to redevelop Mabruk. In Nigeria, we celebrate 30 years this year. We’ve been developing the country’s biggest deep-water Agbami field operated by Chevron. The field is located 110 km offshore in the Central Niger Delta region and last year has produced 26 thousand boe equity to Equinor. In addition, we operate two exploration licenses—OMLs 128 and 129. In Tanzania, several large gas discoveries have been made from our operated Block 2 located in the Indian Ocean, off southern Tanzania. The block has estimated volumes of more than 20 Tcf of gas. There is an ongoing dialogue with the authorities of Tanzania to negotiate terms for a potential future development. We look forward to continuing creating value in Africa for many more years to come.
Angola has historically been one of the most important countries in our international portfolio for more than three decades, providing more than 1.2 billion barrels of oil to Equinor reserves up to last year. Through the years we had partnerships in five Angolan oil blocks (relinquished), and operatorship of blocks 38 and 39 in the Angolan pre-salt play, also relinquished after poor exploration results. Currently, we have purely a non-operated strategy in Angola, anchored on strong partnerships for mutual development and the long-lasting relationships developed with our partners, authorities, and business community in general. The fact that the O&G industry is very professional and experienced has been a key driver to our success in Angola.
In 2019, we’ve managed to extend the lifetime of two of our major partner-operated assets, blocks 15 and 17, until 2023 and 2045, together with our partners. This was crucial to continue creating value in Angola. Last year, three very competitive tie-in development projects utilizing existing infrastructure have delivered first oil in Block 17. Executed with high safety standards, these projects will help curb production decline in Angola and have a positive impact in reducing the accumulated carbon intensity, which is a central part of Equinor’s strategy as we aim to be a leading company in the energy transition. Lately, we’ve added two exploration licenses to our asset portfolio, blocks 1/14 and 29, operated by Eni and TotalEnergies respectively. This year and the years to come, we plan to drill several exploration wells in Angola which could hopefully generate new opportunities to grow our business in Angola.
We have a long-term perspective in Angola. In the future, high standards within compliance and reduced CO2 emissions are vital elements to remain competitive on global scale. We look forward to actively collaborate with authorities, partners, and IOCs to minimize emissions in Angola, both for producing fields and new field developments.
We were glad that Angola, and Minister Diamantino Pedro Azevedo were elected to chair APPO in 2022, especially in a moment where globally, markets discuss how to effectively transition from fossil-based energy systems to renewable sources and low carbon solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a company, we aim to be a leading company in the energy transition and have set a clear ambition to gradually reach net zero by 2050 consistent with the objectives set forth in the Paris agreement. We plan to do this by globally optimizing our oil and gas portfolio, grow in offshore wind, solar and other renewable energy sources and develop low-carbon solutions such as hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. We will remain focused in continuing to create long-term value from our African portfolio, enhancing technology and competence transfer with our partners and local industries, and promoting effective ways to deliver energy with progressively lower emissions. We look forward to our participation at CAPE 2022 as Silver Sponsors and engaging in a productive session about the “Energy Transition and the future of oil and gas industry in Africa” on day 2. We hope that the conference will offer the opportunity to share views with African leaders of countries where Equinor is also present in such as Nigeria, Algeria, and Libya, besides our local partners, and authorities.