Mozambique: New gas strike in Inhambane

24 November 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 24 Nov – Two new natural gas reserves have been found in blocks 16 and 19 of the Mozambique sedimentary basin, in the marine part of Inhambane province, according to a report in newspaper Notícias.

These discoveries were made under the terms of a prospecting and production contract being implemented by the consortium including Sasol Petroleum Sofala, Petronas Carrigali Moçambique and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH).

The newspaper said no further details were available about the discoveries, although complementary studies were likely to now go ahead to determine economic feasibility.

The two blocks were granted to the consortium on 1 June, 2005, following direct negotiation with the Mozambican government, and it has already invested over US$100 million, half of which on drilling prospecting wells.

The minister for mining resources, Esperança Bias, who confirmed the strikes, said that if their commercial feasibility was confirmed, the gas would have a significant impact on the country, specifically in terms of satisfying the ever greater demand for this resource, both on the domestic and regional markets.

“If it is viable, this discovery will make it possible to respond to domestic demand for natural gas. We have a list of projects that could possible be supplied, such as generating electricity, setting up a fertiliser factory and use in vehicles,” Bias said.

Addition wells need to be drill to assess the viability of the gas fields and in order to establish the quantity and quality of gas available. Under the terms of Mozambican law, the concession-holder has six months to assess it findings and present a report to the government, which will then issue its opinion.

Mozambique currently has available around 140 million gigajoules of gas at the Sasol and ENH reserves of Pande/Temane in Inhambane province, whose reserves are estimated to total over 5 trillion cubic feet. This gas supplies the South African region of Secunda and the internal market, particularly the Beleluane industrial park in Maputo, as well as domestic supply. (macauhub)