Sonangol Operations in Iraq

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The contracts signed in 2009 marked the beginning of Sonangol's operations in Iraq.

Sonangol won two contract areas during Iraq's second round of licensing in 2009, Najmeh and Qayara. Both lie in Nineveh province, known as one of Iraq's most troubled areas. "We know that the area where we are going is risky but we are also sure that with the cooperation with the Iraqi authorities we will be able to fulfil our compromise and be able also to produce oil for Najmah and Qayara," said Gaspar Martins, President and CEO of Sonangol.[1]

Activities and Contracts


At the Qayara field, Sonangol took a 75% stake in the venture. Sonangol said that it would invest $2 billion at the field.[2] In March 2011 Sonangol started work at the Najmah field and was due to start to dig wells in April 2011.[3]


Sonangol was the only company to bid for the Najmah contract area in the second licensing round and the Oil Ministry announced on 12 December 2009 that the company had been awarded the contract area.[4]

Security problems

As of March 2012 Sonangol's projects in Iraq remained paralysed under "force majeure" following an attack on facilities in 2011. This set back the company's international plans. Under current conditions it has been suggested that Sonangol would start producing at a rate of 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) from around 2013.[5]


  1. "Angola's Sonangol sign Iraqi oilfield deals", ITN, 28 January 2010
  2. "FACTBOX-Oil deals between Iraq and global majors" Reuters, 26 February 2010.
  3. "Sonangol to Start Work on Ninewa Oilfields, Iraq Business News, 14 March 2011.
  4. "Iraq’s Second Petroleum Licensing RoundNajmah Contract Area – Bidding Results" Ministry of Oil Petroleum and Licensing Directorate, 12 December 2009.
  5. "Sonangol's Iraq Field Still Under Force Majeure, Energia, 13 March 2012.
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