Total looks for bigger bite in Angola

Looking ahead: from Total's Dalia floating production, storage and offloading vessel in Angola

French giant Total is looking to increase production capacity in Angola and is likely to bid for oil licences if the government opens a new tender, a senior company official in Angola said.

The last licensing round for oil blocks was suspended in the first half of 2008, before the country's first post-war parliamentary election.

State-run oil company Sonangol said a new round is unlikely to happen this year.

"Total is a historic partner of Angola. In case a bidding round is proposed we will most likely be very happy to participate," Francois Badoual, Total's deputy general director in Angola, said in an interview with Reuters.

Total's Angola production capacity is more than 500,000 barrels per day, he said.

Badoual added that the ailing global economy and volatility in oil prices would not deter Total from going ahead with its multi-billion dollar investment plan for Angola, which is aimed at increasing production.

The French giant is investing $9 billion on Pazflor, Total's third production hub in Block 17, which is expected to begin production in 2011 from water depths of up to 1200 metres, according to the company website.

"We continue the flow of investment here in Angola. We see a lot of opportunities, developing what we have discovered and continuing to explore in Block 32 for instance," Badoual said.

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