Angola’s oil/ Le pétrole de l’Angola

Après l’histoire de Sarah Wykes, l’activiste anti-corruption, qui fut arrêtée en Angola, voici un article du New-York Times décrivant l’industrie du pétrole angolais (en anglais): une industrie en pleine expansion, mais aussi en pleine corruption.

After the story of Sarah Wykes, the anti-corruption activist, who was arrested in Angola. Here is an article by the New-York Times describing the oil industry in Angola: an industry in full expansion, but also in full corruption.


VIENNA, March 16 — Angola, which shared the stage with the world’s most powerful oil-producing nations at its first OPEC meeting here Thursday, is an unlikely candidate to be the darling of the global oil industry.

A corrupt, underdeveloped and war-scarred country, Angola is one of the poorest lands on earth. But ask any energy executive these days and another picture emerges: a place of immense riches, solicitous of foreign investors and among the three fastest-growing oil exporters in the world today.

In the capital, Luanda, hotel rooms cost more than $200 a night and are booked two months in advance by the oil companies; three times a week, nonstop charter flights known as the Houston Express ferry workers to and from Texas; offshore, dozens of oil fields have been discovered and given names like Cola and Canela.

Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and others have poured billions into Angola in the last decade to unlock petroleum resources in the country’s deep waters, where the vast majority of the oil is, and the payoffs are finally coming in.

In recent years, Angola has become the fastest-growing source of oil exports to the United States and, along with Nigeria and smaller West African countries, it is about to become an important component of American energy security.

Angola still has a terrible record on corruption and ranks on the lowest rungs of nearly all development indicators. Elections have been postponed several times and are currently scheduled in 2009.

The nation’s contradictions are glaring. Angola earned more than $30 billion last year from its petroleum exports. But according to a recent World Bank report, 70 percent of the population lives on the equivalent of less than $2 a day, the majority lack access to basic health care, and about one in four children die before their fifth birthday.