Kaombo: An Innovative ultra-deep-water offshore project in Angola

Country: Angola
Production type: Oil
Project type: Ultra-deepwater offshore
Operator: Total (30%)
Partners: Sonangol P&P, Sonangol Sinopec International, Esso, Galp
Start date: 2018

230,000
barrels/day: Kaombo’s estimated oil production capacity in 2019
Kaombo FPSO, Angola Kaombo vu du ciel

Launched in April 2014, Kaombo is the first project on ultra-deep offshore Block 32, located off the Angolan coast. With 658 million barrels of estimated oil reserves situated at depths of up to 1,950 meters and spread across 800 square kilometers, Kaombo is one of Total’s greatest technical feats ever.

An Extraordinary Technical Challenge

The Kaombo project is located in Block 32, a concession that Total operates with a 30% stake. Its aim is to tap into the oil deposits spread across six fields, connected via 300 kilometers of subsea pipelines to two floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels: Kaombo Norte and Kaombo Sul.

This massive, complex project has some unique characteristics:

  • First, the water depths involved, which reach up to 1,950 meters. The extreme temperature and pressure conditions at such depths require the use of technology that is both reliable and cost-effective. Given these unprecedented depths, the Kaombo project is perfectly aligned with Total’s strategy of rising to the challenge of ultra-deep offshore. 
  • Second, Kaombo’s reserves, which are estimated at 658 million barrels, for a production capacity of 230,000 barrels per day (b/d).
  • Third, the project’s particularly complex production system. In order to tap into oil deposits spread across six fields, covering a surface area of 800 square kilometers, Kaombo required the installation of 59 wells, making it the largest subsea well system in Angola for a single project. Some 300 kilometers of subsea pipelines now enable the six groups of reservoirs to be tied back to two FPSO units.
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Kaombo is twice as big as any previous Total oil project in the Gulf of Guinea. We are going deeper – from 1,400 to 1,950 meters and we are going further – 200 kilometers farther offshore. It is our largest development to date, covering an area nearly eight times the size of Paris.

Cyril de Coatpont
Kaombo Project Director

Converting Oil Tankers into FPSO Vessels

In an effort to control costs and in line with its policy of continuous improvement, Total decided not to build new FPSO vessels for this project. Instead, two oil tankers were converted into FPSO units with internal turret - this central structure is the nerve center of the FPSO-, a first for Total. 

The first FPSO, Kaombo Norte, will develop three of the six fields – Gengibre, Gindungo and Caril – and the second FPSO, Kaombo Sul, the other three – Canela, Mostarda and Louro. Kaombo Norte is scheduled to produce first oil in 2018 and Kaombo Sul in 2019. Once operational, each vessel will produce and store up to 115,000 barrels per day.

This unique infrastructure and the extensive expertise channeled into the project make Kaombo a showcase for innovation.

Kaombo, an ultra-deep offshore project in Angola
Angola : exploration en offshore très profond à Kaombo
Angola : exploration en offshore très profond à Kaombo

Kaombo is an ultra-deep offshore project in Angola. Its aim is to develop oil deposits spread across six different fields, connected via 300 kilometers of subsea pipelines to two floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels: Kaombo Norte and Kaombo Sul.