Governments of Malawi and Mozambique in talks about oil exploration on Lake Niassa

17 October 2012

The government of Malawi is consulting with its Mozambican counterpart about an increase in oil prospecting on Lake Niassa, Malawi’s Energy and Mining Minister, Cassim Chilumpha said in an interview published Sunday.

According to Malawian newspaper The Daily Times, the Malawi government plans to avoid diplomatic problems similar to those it had with Tanzania just after oil prospecting began on Lake Niassa, which straddles Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

In the interview the minister said that the government was cautious about offering new blocks to companies interested in oil prospects, as these blocks are close to the border with Mozambique.

In 2010 when the Malawi government announced it would grant licenses to oil companies, Surestream, Sankara, Ophir, SacOil, Tillow and Lonrho put forward proposals but, following an initial selection for which it chose Surestream, Sankara and SacOil, only Surestream was given authorisation for oil prospecting on the lake.

Last September the director of the Geological Surveying Department, Leonard Kalindekafe, told journalists that six oil prospects had been outlined, some of which were on Lake Niassa. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH