AIPN Regional Event Takes Angola Back to the Future

On September 20, 2017, AIPN’s Europe-Africa Regional Chapter hosted a legal and policy event titled, “Back to the Future: Capitalizing on Angola’s World-Class Oil and Gas Assets” in Luanda, Angola. More than 150 industry participants filled all available chairs at the Hotel Tropico’s Luanda room. The regional event consisted of two one-hour freewheeling panel discussions and was sponsored by Mayer Brown LLP.

Like many oil-rich countries, Angola has experienced falling oil revenues and production, partially due to the precipitous fall of oil prices. Nonetheless, Angola still possesses significant oil and gas potential yet to be tapped through a combination of enhanced technology, innovative approaches, commercial flexibility and regulatory reform. The organizers chose the theme “Back to the Future” to convey the message that better times for the Angolan oil patch lay ahead if government and industry forces can work together towards their common goal of increased production and revenues through investments attracted by a competitive exploration environment.

The first panel discussed the theme “Bringing Back Investors: What Will It Take?” while the second panel addressed the topic, “Step on the Gas: Monetizing Angola’s Ace in the Hole”. Lively and candid debate ensued both on stage and off regarding how to solve the intricate puzzle facing government and industry leaders wishing to bring back the heady days of years past. One common thread among the participants was the belief that this event could be the launching point for more open dialogue between government and industry for the advancement of common goals and objectives. AIPN, through its membership in Angola, is contemplating possible next steps in that direction.