The South African petrochemicals giant Sasol is looking at the feasibility of building a pipeline in southern Mozambique to enable light oil to be exported by sea.
In May, Sasol began a programme to drill 13 new wells in Inhassoro district, in the southern province of Inhambane. Test drilling of two wells had already found small quantities of light oil. However, as the company does not know the quantity of light oil that will be found, it is looking at two transport options: moving the light oil by road and sea.
Road will be used if the quantity is small. However, should a sizeable amount of light oil be discovered, the company would wish to pipe the oil to a Floating Storage and Offloading unit (FSO), from where it would be pumped into oil tankers.
Sasol has commissioned an environmental impact assessment on the proposed pipeline, which would run from a new Liquids Processing Facility (LPF) adjacent to its natural gas Central Processing Facility (CPF) at Temane. The pipeline would end about fifty kilometres northeast of the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park.
According to a report in Tuesday’s issue the daily newspaper “Noticias”, the environmental impact assessment is being carried out by the companies Environmental Resources Management and Impacto. It will lead to a draft scoping study being presented to the public in Inhassoro and Maputo later this month.
According to Impacto, “stakeholders will be notified of the availability of the draft scoping report and the date, time and venue of public meetings through announcements in the local newspaper, the radio (in Portuguese and Xitswa), and formal invitations”.
The Central Processing Facility is currently fed by 24 onshore production wells. It produces 197 Gigajoules of gas per year and about 250 cubic metres of gas condensate per day. This gas is piped 900 kilometres to South Africa, with spurs along the route to supply Mozambican customers.