quinta-feira, 1 de fevereiro de 2007

Moçambique incentiva pesquisa de óleo e gás

Mozambique plans intensive oil and gas exploration in northern and central areas and tenders could be offered by the end of the year if discoveries are made, a senior energy official said. Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Abdul Razak said there is potential for gas in the Rovuma river Basin that marks the Tanzanian border and the Zambezi delta and more drilling would be needed to find oil and gas deposits. "We need to intensify our search for oil and gas this year in those areas... there are some blocks in which we are evaluating and eventually we will award licences towards the end of this year through international tenders", Razak said.
He said the basin will be divided into seven blocks in a bid to attract the greatest possible number of companies, and maximise assessment of the area's potential. "There are potentials in exploring gas and oil in Mozambique... besides those areas which we identified and awarded contracts, we are now encouraging companies from around the world to comeand help us search in the vast potential areas", he said.
Four international companies have won tenders to prospect for oil and gas in the Rovuma Basin, in northern Mozambique, and are expected to invest a total of about $ 300 mm, and sink eight exploratory wells in the five blocks awarded to them in a period spanning for eight years. These are Canada's Artumas Group, US-based Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Italy's ENI, and Petronas of Malaysia. Razak said that indications show either oil or natural gas may be found on the Zambezi delta and there is strong hope of finding heavy oil in other projects planned for this year. "We recently presented our plans and exploration potential at a meeting in the United States where African countries and international companies had met on the subject," said Razak. "And we would like to take advantage of this and attract foreign companies to come and invest because the Mozambican state has no money."
Oil majors, who in the past have concentrated on west and south-western Africa, are seeking opportunities in new areas of the continent, partly spurred by high global oil prices. Mozambique has two onshore natural gasfields -- Pande and Temane in the southern Inhambane region -- where South African firm Sasol has invested about $ 1.2 bn. Energy generation is a lucrative business in the entire Southern African region now faced with chronic power shortages mismatched with a growing industrial sector. In Mozambique itself a number of major projects have been put on hold due to lack of sufficient electrical power. Sasol and Mozambique's Hydrocarbon Company (ENH) have agreed to embark on further gas and oil exploration in Mozambique. The work is being conducted in the southern province of Inhambane, east of the existing Pande and Temane reserves and close to Sasol's pipeline project.
Source: The Peninsula

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