Total to Cut Oil Flows at Girassol Field

Source: Reuters 4/17/2012, Location: Africa

French oil major Total will cut oil supplies at a giant deep oil platform off the coast of Angola for planned works in June, trade sources said. Girassol, which means sunflower in Portuguese, is one of OPEC member Angola's largest fields and can pump up to 250,000 barrels per day (bpd).

West African crude oil traders said that operator Total would cut production in order to inject new volumes from a satellite field in order to sustain output as reserves fall. Total has previously linked fresh wells, such as the nearby Jasmim field, to Girassol in order to boost output. It was not clear if Girassol production would stop completely during the works. Total was not immediately available for comment.

Angola is Africa's second largest oil producer, with output of 1.8 million barrels per day, after Nigeria which pumps an average of around 2.5 million bpd of oil and light gas liquids, although exports tend to be slightly lower.

Provisional Angolan loading programmes for the month of June showed a sharp reduction in Girassol exports versus May. Three cargoes of 1 million barrels each are due to load in June, the programme showed, compared with seven the previous month. This contributed to a drop in Angolan oil exports to 1.63 million bpd in June compared with 1.77 million bpd in May, a provisional loading programme showed. Crude oil can still be loaded from the Girassol platform even if production halts since the facility has a storage capacity of 2 million barrels. Total is the operator of the Girassol platform and BP and Statoil also hold minor stakes.


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