At the end of 2008, Angola took up the chairmanship of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), an organization to which it joined as a member at the end of 2007, following several years as an observer nation. The Economic Report on Angola 2005, written by the Center for Studies and Science Research (CEIC) at the Angolan Catholic University (UCAN), predicted that, at the rate of oil production seen thus far, Angola is likely to become the largest oil producer in the entire African continent by 2017, thus surpassing Nigeria, the leading nation in the Sub-Saharan region.
This statistic framework offers not only upbeat prospects for the country’s revenues, and, consequently, for the gradual improved socioeconomic conditions of the Angolan population, but it is mainly relevant for the long bilateral relations with the host country, the United States of America. The current progress in building infrastructure capable of exploring, processing, trading, and exporting the potential LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) in Angola will be paramount to reinforce and develop trade between Angola and the United States.
The Angolan oil company, Sonangol, has offices in the city of Houston, the State of Texas, doing business as Sonangol-USA. Houston is a key petrochemical center in the United States. The Sonangol’s presence in this region makes the Angola oil and, soon, liquefied natural gas, one important reference in deepening trade exchange and promoting, expanding and diversifying the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.