Sonangol’s new president Francisco de Lemos disclosed this to reporters in Luanda, maintaining that Angola’s oil production fell by 5.6 percent during 2011 to 1.66 million barrels per day.
De Lemos took over as president from long-serving Manuel Vicente, who is the new minister of state for economic co-ordination and a possible presidential successor.
The state and Songangol are so intertwined that the company is sometimes described as a parallel structure of government.
It runs its own airline, manages government housing and industrial programmes, and through joint ventures with Chinese companies is understood to be involved in negotiating oil-backed loans for the government.
The International Monetary Fund has highlighted a $32 billion gap in Angola’s national accounts, apparently because of quasi-fiscal activities by the oil company.
De Brito declined to comment on the IMF report, saying: “We will not be making any comment on this because it has already been adequately discussed by the executive and the IMF.”
Angola is Africa’s second-largest crude producer after Nigeria and oil accounts for 90 percent of the country’s exports. Despite its wealth however, half the population lives in poverty, many without access to basic services like water and electricity.