Mozambique’s National Petroleum Institute (INP) last week announced that, in the sixth licensing round for hydrocarbon exploration, it has awarded five blocks to the Chinese company CNOOC (Chinese National Offshore Oil Exploration) – Hong Kong.
The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy launched the licensing round in November 2021. 16 offshore blocks were offered, but no bids were made for ten of them, not even for the two in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, adjacent to areas known to possess enormous reserves of natural gas.
Three of the blocks granted to CNOOC Hong Kong (A6-R, A6-E and A6-G) are all in the region of Angoche, off the coast of Nampula province. The other two (S6-A and S6-B) are in the Save region, off the coast of Inhambane, and near the mouth of the river Save.
A sixth block (A6-C), in the Angoche region, was awarded to the Italian energy company ENI, which is already a major player in the production and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Rovuma Basin.
According to the INP, the research programmes proposed by CNOOC and ENI for the first period of exploration will allow investments of around 370 million US dollars, and the opening of at least four wells in deep waters.
The INP stresses that, despite the unfavourable economic situation, arising from the constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the proposals received from CNOOC and ENI show that Mozambique remains an attractive country with desirable petroleum potential.