Angola’s national oil company Sonangol said Monday it is targeting a 16 percent rise in oil production to hit 2 million barrels per day in 2015 and tie Nigeria as the Africa’s top oil producer.

Sonangol’s chief executive Francisco de Lemos said the company would launch a 10-year $8 billion investment programme and auction dozens of new concessions.

The investments should allow Sonangol to hit the target of 7 percent annual growth in production set by the Angolan state.

After three consecutive years of decline, production increased by 4.5 percent in 2012 to an average of 1.73 mbpd.

The company could put up to 15 onshore exploration blocs up for option this year, Sonangol executives said.

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Sonangol also expects to launch exports of liquefied natural gas this year. The country aims to export 5.2 million tonnes of LNG per year.

Angola, an OPEC member, is second only to Nigeria in oil production in Africa.

The oil is helping power its post-war economic boom, but the gains have mostly benefited the country’s elite, with most Angolans still living in grinding poverty.


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