June 12, 2015

West Africa is the main market for BOURBON, which operates nearly 60% of its fleet here. In Angola, offshore operations are managed by the joint venture, Sonasurf.

A deeply offshore region

Rich in oil & gas, West Africa is home to ten oil producing countries, including the two "heavyweights," Nigeria and Angola. Oil & gas resources are extracted in deep water (over 500 meters deep and up to over 1,500 m deep), as part of projects involving international majors (Total, ExxonMobil, BP etc.), national companies (Sonangol in Angola, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Nigeria) and independents (Cobalt, for example).
Present in all active exploration and producing areas of the region, BOURBON is mobilizing its entire fleet and all its expertise for its clients - oil & gas companies and oil & gas installation services companies:

  • AHTS and PSV vessels for platform logistical support and resupply
  • MPSV vessels for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of subsea infrastructures
  • Crew boats to transport personnel and small parcels
  • Terminal tugs…
"BOURBON is the only player on the entire West African coast with a very high level of local content. Sonasurf is the very example of this positioning in Angola."
Albano FERNANDESSonasurf Chief Executive Officer

On the West African oil & gas landscape, Angola occupies the foreground with increased production.
Total is already present here on several major fields: Girassol, Dalia, CLOV, where production started took in June 2014, and the new giant Kaombo, in development for a production launch in 2016/2017 in ultra-deep offshore (up to 1950 meters in depth).
Chevron is also developing new projects in block 14, straddling traditional continental offshore and deepwater offshore.

Sonasurf : local company, global standards

In Angola, the BOURBON fleet is contracted through joint venture, Sonasurf, which employs 200 people on land, of which 85% are Angolan staff and over 1,500 seafarers with, again, a very high percentage of Angolan crews. "Since 2004, all seafarers have received up-training or training in international standards, with an HSE focus, either on-site or in one of the training centers approved and recognized by the authorities in line with the BOURBON standards" Stresses Nicolas Elizon, Deputy Managing Director. It's one way of ensuring the safety of operations, protecting assets and the environment in order to deliver operational excellence to clients.

BOURBON is developing local resources for of international safety, quality, and performance standards around, the world. The Sonasurf joint venture is thus in the process of developing a Quality Management System (QMS), which is part of a continuous improvement process, and will very soon become the first ISO 9001-certified Angolan maritime services company for customer service.

Key figures

  • 200 onshore employees
  • Over 1500 seafarers
  • A fleet of 110 vessels

A varied, standardized fleet

Sonasurf also stands out due to its modern and standardized fleet of 110 modern vessels, which consists of AHTS, PSV, MPSV Vessels, Crew boats, and tugs.

Chevron, one of its main clients locally since 2014, is chartering 10 supply vessels, 30 Surfers and one MPSV dedicated to submarine operations. Moreover, to support the dynamism of offshore exploration and production in Angola, in 2014 Sonasurf welcomed 2 new IMR vessels from the Bourbon Evolution 800 series.

Good to know

The average production of oil in Angola was approximately 1.6 million barrels/day in 2014. The country expects to reach a production rate of 1.8 million barrels/day in 2015 (Source ANGOP).


Bourbon behind the scenes