Norsk Hydro to have final decision on oil prospecting in Mozambique in May

15 February 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 14 Feb – The Mozambican Environment Ministry is expected to announce its final decision in May on the environmental impact study relating to the seismic surveys carried out in the Rovuma basin, the river which borders Tanzania.

The announcement was made by Lote Simione, of the Environment Ministry, following the delivery of the study, required as part of the prospecting contract signed by the Mozambican government with Norwegian company Hydro Oil & Gas Mocambique.

The company, which has already begun collecting information from the sea bed, is now awaiting authorization to carry out seismic prospecting in two or three dimensions, according to a company official.

The area to be prospected is described by specialists as being very sensitive as it is located in the Quirimbas National Park, made up of the archipelago of the same name, a chain of 28 inhabited islands, where some protected marine species live and is one of the most important tourist areas of Mozambique.

The report handed in Tuesday to the Mozambican Environment Ministry recommends the creation of communication channels between Hydro Oil & Gas Mocambique, the fishermen and tour operators and compensation schemes for potential losses caused to third parties by oil prospecting activities. (macauhub)