Maputo, Mozambique, 18 Sept – Natural gas production in the Pande and Temane fields, in Mozambique’s Inhambane province has doubled since production began in 2004, the deputy minister for Planning and Development said in Maputo Wednesday.
Victor Bernardo said that gas production had risen from 53 million gigajoules in the first year of business to 104 million in 2007 and added that in the first half of 2008 production in the two areas reached 68 million gigajoules.
South Africa’s Sasol has since 2004, and for a period of 25 years, held the concession for exploration and transport of gas in the onshore reserves in Pande and Temane.
That year an 860 kilometre gas pipeline was opened linking the wells in Mozambique to the South African industrial region of Secunda, at a total investment of US$1.2 billion.
The majority of the company that manages the pipeline is owned by Sasol, and the Mozambican state, via national oil and gás company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), has a 14 percent stake (of the 25 percent available to Mozambican shareholders).
The Mozal aluminium foundry, the Fosforeira company, Cimentos de Moçambique and state oil and gas company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) are Sasol’s main Mozambican customers.
In the absence of conclusive evidence of oil in Mozambique (there are some companies prospecting in the centre and north of the country), the Mozambican authorities have focused on exploration of proven natural gas reserves and making surveying feasible in areas where reserves are believed to exist.
Last week, the Mozambican minister for Mining Resources, Esperança Bias, announced that soon surveying for natural gas in the Búzi basin would begin, following the concession on this bloc being granted to ENH.
Sasol has also started woirk on drilling two to three wells in deep water for prospecting and surveying of new natural gas reserves in the Machanga district (Sofala province) and Vilanculos (Inhambane province), on the east coast of the Bazaruto archipelago, with a total area of 11,000 square kilometres. (macauhub)