Growing Chinese debt leaves Angola with little spare oil
* Debts to China climb to an estimated $25 billion
* Angola has less oil to sell to plug budget holes
* Other nations which borrowed using crude also face problems
By Libby George
LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - Angola has found itself with a dwindling amount of crude to sell as more of its oil flows to China for debt repayment, leaving little revenue for anything from oil sector development to health care in one of Africa's largest oil exporting nations.
Following a trend also seen in Iraq, Kazakhstan, Russia and Venezuela, Angola has tied up more of its output in pre-financed deals to bridge a drop in income due to the 70 percent fall in oil prices in the past 18 months.
The price slump means the Western oil majors which manage the fields and platforms that help Angola export 1.8 million barrels per day are also taking more oil in return for their investment and services.
Countries with oil often use it as collateral for loans, and during a previous oil price collapse, in 2008, the process helped to tide many over until better times. But this time most experts say the rout will continue until at least next year.
As recently as five years ago, just over half of Angola's 50-60 monthly cargoes went toward paying oil majors, with as few as four to five cargoes going to pay back prefinanced deals, leaving the country's state oil company, Sonangol, with as many as two dozen to sell on the market or to term buyers with ongoing contracts. Continuación...