Angola produces 1.5 million barrels a day of oil but there is a shortage of fuel in the pumps. João Lourenço dismisses leader of Sonangol – The Economic Journal

At a time when Angola suffers from fuel shortages at the pumps, President João Lourenço fired the leader of the state oil company. To succeed Carlos Saturnino was named Sebastian Pai Querido Gaspar Martins, who is already part of the Sonangol administration.

The Civil House of the President of the Republic announced in a statement, quoted by Lusa, that João Lourenço has by decree exempted "all entities" that are members of the board of Sonangol. The only reason cited for exemptions is "public service convenience", precisely at a time when citizens and companies in an oil-producing country suffer from lack of fuel.

The fuel shortage caused long queues at nearly all fuel stations in Angola last weekend, which triggered the price of a liter of gasoline in the parallel market, led Angolan President João Lourenço , to request a detailed report on the lack of fuels registered in the country, with a view to the rapid regularization of supply.

The information was released by the Jornal de Angola, which also reports that Sonangol has since Saturday two ships from its import fleet docked at the Sonils Base in Luanda port to discharge fuel "enough for a month's consumption."

Angola is an oil-producing country, with daily production reaching an average of 1.505 million barrels of crude oil in 2018, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cited by Lusa.

According to the Jornal de Angola reported on Tuesday, May 7, the Angolan Head of State summoned to the Presidential Palace the ministers of Mineral and Petroleum Resources, Diamantino Azevedo, Energy and Water, João Baptista Borges, and Finance, Archer Mangueira , as well as the governor of the National Bank of Angola (BNA), José de Lima Massano, and the president of the oil company Sonangol, Carlos Saturnino. The President asked for precise clarifications on the lack of fuels in the country, requesting a "detailed" report.

Sonangol admitted on Saturday that the difficulty in accessing currencies to cover the costs of importing refined products is one of the factors in the fuel shortage. In a statement, the Angolan oil company remembers that it imports derivatives by paying in foreign currency, for sale to the domestic market in kwanzas.

The difficulty of access to the debts also adds to the high debt of the main clients of the industrial segment, which consumes about 40% of the total fuel, whose lack of payment ends up also conditioning the availability of kwanzas for the acquisition of foreign currency.

Consequently, last weekend, the price of the liter of gasoline shot to 500 kwanzas (1.36 euros), against the usual 160 kwanzas (0.43 euros).

Jornal de Angola also reports that on Monday, May 6, a meeting was held between Sonangol and BNA, after Saturday the company alleged the lack of foreign exchange to import fuels. In a statement issued on May 4 to explain the supply problems, the Angolan oil company evokes "difficulties in accessing currencies to cover costs for refining imports."

Sonangol has since Saturday two ships from its import fleet docked at the Sonils Base in Luanda Port to discharge fuel "for one month's consumption," reports the newspaper Jornal de Angola, citing a company source that predicts "in the next few hours".

In the framework of the procedures, the fuel is discharged to a storage center and then transported to the filling stations, which means Sonangol expects that by Wednesday, May 8, supplies will be regularized.

Angola produces at the Luanda Refinery, the only one that owns only 20% of the oil products it consumes, importing the remaining 80%. According to figures released in April, in the first quarter of this year, Sonangol spent $ 221.4 million to import petroleum products to meet the demand for its domestic market, at an average of $ 73.8 million per month , which should be close to the values ​​of the import that is being downloaded in Sonils Base.

Angola produces 1.5 million barrels of oil per day but is lacking in fuels

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