Norway’s Statoil abandons oil exploration in Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin

5 August 2014

Norway’s Statoil group has abandoned oil exploration in northern Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin due to negative results and for legal reasons, reports the Maputo daily Notícias.

The Norwegian group held a 90 percent stake in the eight-year concession for areas 2 and 5 of that sedimentary basin since June 2006. The remaining 10 percent was held by the Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos.

The Norwegian stake was originally held by Norsk Hydro, but that company and the Statoil group began a merger process in 2008. The concession’s operator thus became Statoil Oil and Gas Mozambique.

The companies Tulllow Oil and Inpex joined the concessionaires in 2011 and 2013, respectively, and remained until last 1 June, when the concession contract terminated.

A source from the National Petroleum Institute told the newspaper that the consortium had acquired two and three dimensional seismic data, leading to the drilling of two research wells, with negative results.

“Given the negative results of research work, and for legal reasons, the concessionaires unanimously decided to completely abandon the contract area for prospecting and production in areas 2 and 5, effective as of 1 June 2014,” said the National Petroleum Institute source.

Areas 2 and 5 are the first to be abandoned by the four active operators in the Rovuma Basin of Cabo Delgado province.

The other areas are the offshore ones operated by Italy’s ENI, Malaysia’s Petronas and the US group Anadarko Petroleum; the latter also has a second concession on land. (macauhub/MZ)