Results of oil prospecting in Zambezi basin published by end of March

25 January 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 25 Jan – Mozambique’s Minister for Mineral Resources said Tuesday in Maputo that the results of oil prospecting in the country’s Zambezi river basin would be known by the end of the first quarter of 2006.

Malaysian oil company Petronas and Mozambique’s state oil enterprise Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos de Moçambique (ENH) are responsible for the prospecting in the area having invested some US$70 million.

The Zambezi River Basin has known hydrocarbon reserves as several onshore gas fields have already been discovered.

Minister Esperança Bias referring to the recent agreement between Brazilian groups Petrobrás and Companhia do Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), which are interested in gas exploration in Mozambique, told Portuguese news agency that, “their involvement will awaken other big companies to the opportunities that Mozambique offers.”

The chairmen of CVRD, Roger Agnelli, and Petrobrás, José Sérgio Gabrielli, signed a memorandum of understanding in Brazil on January 10 for joint gas prospecting in Mozambique.

Bias also said that the Brazilian joint venture could be part of gas prospecting in Mozambique through a public tender or direct negotiation with the Mozambican authorities.

CVRD won the concession for coal exploration in Moatize, in Tete province.(macauhub)