Oil discovered in Mozambique does not justify commercial exploration

25 February 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 25 Feb – The oil that has been discovered in the Rovuma basin is in small quantity and cannot be explored commercially, the head of the National Oil Institute of Mozambique, Carlos Zacarias said Thursday in Maputo.

In August 2009, US company Anadarko Petroleum announced the discovery of oil in the Rovuma basin, but Zacarias told Portuguese news agency Lusa that, although there is some oil there, the geological composition of the land means that the product found their is not interesting in terms of commercialisation.

“Normally the oil or gas is found in reservoirs, which are sands, which has to be of such a quality that they allow the gas or oil to flow. That was not found at these wells,” in the Rovuma basin, Zacarias said.

At the end of 2009, intensive research activities were underway in the Rovuma basin, which continued until the beginning of 2010, resulting in six test wells. Natural gas was found in four.

The oil associated to the gas was discovered in the third well known as Ironclad, after in the second well, Windjammer, drilled in February of last year, the US multinational announced the discovery of gas at sea, at a depth of 3,600 metres.

As well as Anadarko there are three other companies surveying and prospecting for hydrocarbons in the Rovuma basin, Italy’s ENI, Malaysia’s Petronas and Norway’s Statoil, which are currently concluding their assessment of seismic data gathered in order to schedule drilling. (macauhub)