Claudio Lousada, Vice President & Head of Subsea Africa of Aker Solutions.

Energy Capital & Power spoke with Claudio Lousada, Vice President & Head of Subsea Africa of Aker Solutions, about the Norwegian OFS provider’s role in fulfilling Angola’s energy transition and local content objectives. 

Since its establishment in-country, how has Aker Solutions evolved into one of the leading OFS providers in Angola?

It all started in the 1990s when Aker Solutions was established as an organization in-country. We began with a small business development team that was designed to get to know the country and understand its needs and how we could step in as an international foreign investor in the local market. After a couple of years of hard work, business development and creating the right foundations in-country, we were awarded the Dalia contract in 2003 through competitive bidding. This is where our long-term history and engagement with Angola started. We have a strong commitment to our strategic clients on B4/05, B15, B17, B31 and B32. We slowed our drilling operations last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but beginning late-2022, we will reconvene. It is very likely that by the mid-to-end of this year, activity will increase further with more drilling rigs leading to an increase of activity in our services.

Where does Aker Solutions stand in the energy transition and what decarbonization goals has the company set?

We have more than 180 years of transformational experience all together in Aker Solutions. We have always been a driving force of change. The ability to transform is a part of our culture. We merged with Kværner in 2020 and have realigned our purpose to meet the challenges of the energy transition, as well as have a clear company strategy. We are, and have always been, skilled problem solvers across the board. It is a part of our corporate DNA in driving development solutions to any current problems, no matter how complex they are. We will use our knowledge, technology experience, skills and responsibility to power and facilitate a new industry for sustainable energy solutions.

The next steps will be to define the size of our ambition. We have a great ambition and have already defined that renewable energy and low-carbon solutions will make up the majority of our business. It is projected that one-third of our revenues will come from renewable energy and low-carbon oil and gas by 2025, and two-thirds by 2030. We will also halve our own emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050. Our goal is to meet those targets of renewable projects and low-carbon solutions using advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technology to reduce emissions and cut the carbon footprint in our oil and gas production. We have been working very closely with our strategic partners in order to present integrated solutions, undertaking new engagements regarding standardization in order to provide more competitive and long-term sustainable solutions, enabling new projects in-country. 

In recent years, Aker Solutions has become involved in brownfield maintenance and modification activity, including its contract with BP’s Greater Plutonio and PSVM fields. What role does this play in your greater portfolio?

The BP project is very important to Aker Solutions in terms of client diversity, market share and business in-country diversification. Mostly, it is important for the leveraging of our local content and long-term knowledge with all of our partners.

What are the advantages of having your offices in and operating out of the SONILS base?

We have a fully integrated service base with the most advanced service technology and competent resources. We have achieved an 85%-local content workforce across the board. We do have a complete subsea service portfolio for our clients including the most sensitive area, which is controls repair and hyperbaric testing capabilities. We are also highly experienced onshore and offshore in technical execution and support in the various subsea service disciplines. We are self-sustainable in-country, which is different from other service companies operating in Angola.

What is Aker Solutions’ approach to training and human capital development in Angola’s oil and gas sector?

The first key element related to investment in training and infrastructure is performance and operational sustainability. It is making sure that the same investments are kept running and functional in order to reach a large number of users for years to come. We have adopted procedures internally at Aker Solutions to ensure that we provide support to our partners and these initiatives. With our new Viana technology center, we are talking about a global investment of $25 million. The hyperbaric chamber installed on-site, for example, is one-of-a-kind for the sub-Saharan African region. Before we move forward in future investments, we have decided to capitalize on existing investment so that the Viana facility becomes the African controls and testing center of excellence. Our shareholders’ main purpose for this investment is to increase knowledge transfer, which is key to the country’s development and sustainability. A crucial element is the OPEX reduction for operators. Through this center, we will improve equipment reliability towards short-term turnarounds and protect the environment with CO2 emission reductions.

Angola Oil & Gas 2022

Energy Capital & Power, in partnership with the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas of Angola, is proud to announce that the Angola Oil & Gas 2022 conference and exhibition will be taking place from November 29 to December 01, 2022, in Luanda.