Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Max Tonela, told Lusa news agency that the new prospecting areas for oil and gas in Mozambique are showing preliminary signs of potential for exploration
“There are some prospects [signs] of the potential of resources”, said Max Tonela in statements to Lusa, namely with regard to data from “analysis and seismic information collected so far”.
Tonela said that the concessionaire companies for the new research areas should open the first holes by the end of this year and have already made investments higher than those imposed by the contracts signed with the Mozambican government.
“Companies are making [investments] beyond what was anticipated, in terms of the volume of seismic information,” he added.
The limitations imposed in the context of prevention of covid-19 and the consequent implications for the mobility of technicians, he continued, prevented further advances in the work.
The exploration licenses off the central and northern coast of Mozambique are awarded to consortia involving the oil companies ExxonMobil, ENI, Rosneft and Qatar Petroleum, in addition to the state-owned Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH).
Mozambique already has natural gas reserves that are among the largest in the world, in the Rovuma basin, in the north of the country, and also has deposits under exploration in the province of Inhambane, in the southern region.
The Rovuma project, led by Total, was the largest private investment in Africa until it was suspended in March due to armed attacks in Cabo Delgado, north of the country – some claimed by the ‘jihadist’ group Islamic State.
At the end of June, the Mozambican Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy reiterated at a business forum of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) the bet on hydrocarbons, commenting on concerns about the growing movement against pollution caused by fossil fuels.
Max Tonela considered that gas is, among fossil energies, the one that pollutes the least and that it asserts itself as an energy transition platform for clean energies.