The government of Mozambique confirmed it had signed an oil exploration agreement with US energy firm Exxon Mobil and Russia’s Rosneft. The National Petroleum Institute, the country’s energy regulator, said Mozambique was preparing to sign similar agreements with South Africa’s Sasol and Italy’s Eni.
The energy firms are expected to drill a minimum of ten wells, eight in deep water and two onshore. The development could lead to as much as $700 million being invested in Mozambique. Carlos Zacarias, Chairman of the National Petroleum Institute noted that Exxon Mobil will carry out gas exploration in the district of Angoche, Nampula Province and northern Mozambique.
The firms had won oil tenders at the fifth international oil exploration and research tender launched in October 2014. The oil companies hold other natural gas concessions in Mozambique and participation in the fifth tender will strengthen their presence in the country.
Mozambique, which is heavily-indebted is hoping its oil and natural gas resources will help it recover from a debt scandal. The issue encouraged multilateral and foreign donors to cut off funds transferred to the southern African country.
Over $30 billion is expected to be invested in Mozambique’s gas sector to build capacity to produce 20 million tonnes per year of liquified natural gas.