Mozambican government prepares tender for oil and gas prospecting near lake Niassa

16 June 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 16 June – The Mozambican government is drawing up a public tender for the selection of a company with the technical and financial capacity to prospect for hydrocarbons in the Maniamba basin in an area next to lake Niassa, the chairman of the National Oil Institute (INP) said in Maputo.

This will be the third area that the government has opened up to oil and gas prospecting, following the Zambezi basin, in central Mozambique and the Rovuma basin in the north of the country, both on the coast of the Indian Ocean.

According to newspaper Notícias, Arsénio Mabote also said that the government had been contacted by several companies that had shown interest in carrying out oil prospecting in several areas across the country, both at sea and onshore.

In relation to the tender for the Maniamba basin, Mabote did not give details, but added that it would be restricted to a small group of companies.

The government recently established lake Niassa as a conservation area as a way of promoting the sustainable use of the lake’s abundant resources. Lake Niassa is one of the 19 largest fresh water lakes in the world.

Lake Niassa, which has an estimated area of 31,000 square kilometres, is around 580 kilometres long and between 15 and 90 kilometres wide.

On the Mozambican side (the lake is bordered by three countries – Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique), lake Niassa has a surface area of 6,400 square kilometres, with around 254 kilometres of shoreline that stretches across over half of Niassa province. (macauhub)