Mozambican government to legislate on natural gas

15 August 2014

The Mozambican government plans to legislate on the liquefaction process for natural gas from areas 1 and 4 of the Rovuma Basin in Cabo Delgado province, indicates a legislative authorisation granted by parliament, the Maputo daily Notícias reports.

The authorisation aims to facilitate the conception, construction, installation, ownership, financing, operation, maintenance, use of wells, installation and associated equipment, on land or offshore, with respect to the production, processing, liquefaction and delivery of natural gas from deposits in the two respective areas.

The government justified the request for legislative authorisation by arguing that a special framework was needed to facilitate project execution in the basin, making certain changes or granting exemptions to legislation, besides establishing a number of contract agreements.

The document was approved with the changes proposed by the Constitutional Issues Committee. During its presentation, Mineral Resources Minister Esperança Bias said regarding oil exploration activity that in 2005 the government put out a tender for the areas in the Rovuma Basin, eventually awarded to Anadarko Área 1 Limitada and ENI East África.

Prospecting carried out per the terms of those contracts led to the discovery of large amounts of natural gas at depths ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 metres, between 40 and 55 km offshore.

Bias recalled that the companies in question had already invested more than US$4.815 billion. She said that the natural gas deposits’ exploitation would eventually cost more than US$30 billion, indicating that the first stage should see the construction of liquefaction units with capacity for 20 million tons per year. (macauhub/MZ)