Block 17: Driving Growth in Angola


Morro Bento training center

At Total, we are constantly looking for ways to innovate and to push the technological boundaries of oil and gas resources. This is true wherever we operate in the world in spite of the increasing complexity of exploration and production projects. Angola is no exception, with Block 17 marking our first move into deep offshore production in West Africa.

Block 17, a "Golden Block"

The number of barrels per day produced in Block 17, representing a third of Angola's output

Total first moved into Block 17 in 1997. Located nearly 1,300 meters below sea level off the coast of Angola, Block 17 is referred to as a "Golden Block" due to its highly productive oil fields. It is made up of four major hubs – Girassol, Dalia, Pazflor and CLOV (Cravo, Lirio, Orquidea and Violeta) – which were gradually brought on stream between 2001 and 2014. This rapid pace of development has turned Angola into a showcase for Total's operational excellence in deep offshore projects and made us the country's leading operator.

Committed to Growing Together

From the outset of our involvement in Block 17, which we operate with a 40% interest, we committed to creating jobs, buying locally, training technicians and sharing technologies as part of an agreement with state-owned Sonangol. Our aim in committing to shared development was to help the country grow and stimulate the regional economy.

Developing Local Teams' Skills

Formation d'élèves soudeurs sur le chantier naval

Training and Recruiting
We have been helping improve Angola's infrastructure and develop local skills ever since our first deep offshore projects in the country, investing some $17 million in training here each year. Our active policy of strengthening expertise, coupled with our commitment to hiring locally whenever possible, has made it possible for more and more Angolan nationals to join the ranks of our project teams. We plan to pursue these efforts to reach our new target of raising the share of local employees in our Angolan affiliate to 80% by 2017, up from 74% in 2014.

Boosting Local Business
Angolan companies have been called on to play an increasingly large role in each new project, logging more than 3 million hours worked on the Pazflor project, over 10 million on CLOV and nearly 14 million expected on Kaombo. We have also made a priority of progressively involving local entrepreneurs in our operations, including decision making.

Transferring Knowledge and Skills
The succession of large deep offshore developments in the Gulf of Guinea over the last 15 years has helped forge undeniable local expertise. Thanks to this momentum, Angola's manufacturers are now able to make increasingly complex parts and install them on site. In a country first, an Angolan team manufactured a 2,300-ton component for the CLOV floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO) and performed on-site integration.