Angola has exported its­ first crude cargo from the deep offshore Kaombo project which came on stream in July.

Observed flows show that the Suezmax tanker Minerva Evropi loaded from the development last week. The tanker is currently heading to Donges, France with an expected arrival date of 9-10 September, according to Vortexa data.

The new crude export stream is called Gindungo, a medium sour crude with 32° API and 0.58pc sulphur. Three 950,000bl cargoes of the grade are scheduled to load in September, while sales also understood to be underway for October-loading cargoes.

Donges meanwhile is a typical recipient of west African crude, the majority of which in recent years has been sourced from Angola.

Total is operator of the Kaombo project located on in Block 32, the biggest deep offshore development in Angola. The company announced at the end of July that production had begun, and that the 115,000 b/d capacity floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) Kaombo Norte had been brought on stream. A second unit of similar size is expected to start up next year.

The Kaombo project currently develops the resources of six different fields. Total operates Block 32 with a 30pc participating interest, together with Sonangol P&P (30pc), Sonangol Sinopec International 32 (20pc), Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Overseas) (15pc) and Galp Energia Overseas Block 32 (5pc).

The new development can be expected to boost Opec-member Angola’s crude exports in the second half of this year, after a recent period of decline. Angola reported its production to Opec as 1.455mn b/d for July, compared with 1.63mn b/d in 2017 and 1.72mn b/d in 2016.