There’s a hidden treasure just off the northern coast of Mozambique, but it’s got nothing to do with pirates: lurking beneath the waves of the Indian Ocean are at least 100-trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.
That makes Mozambique Africa’s third-largest holder of such proven reserves after Nigeria and Algeria, in that order. Some estimates even raise the bar to 180-trillion cubic feet of reserves.
Internationally, Mozambique is ranked 54th – a long way behind the gas riches of first-placed Russia’s 48,700-trillion cubic feet of gas reserves or second-placed Iran’s 33,600-trillion cubic feet (both according to 2013 estimates).
Even so, mining the reserves in the area known as the Rovuma Basin could radically change the fortunes of a country that in April this year declared it had $1.3-billion in debt it could not pay, which led to a downgrade by rating agencies.
The large reserves, worth tens of billions of dollars, have attracted oil and gas companies from across the world, including Royal Dutch Shell and Rosneft. US-based Anadarko and Italy-based Eni are already leading exploration efforts in the Rovuma Basin.
Anadarko and Eni plan to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility with two trains, each with capacity of 6-million tons per year, at a cost of $15-billion to $17-billion. A final decision on this project is expected by next year.
South Africa’s Sasol said in February this year that it had been given the go-ahead by Mozambique to develop more oil and gas fields in that country.
Mozambique now produces only a small volume of natural gas – 198-billion cubic feet in 2014. Most of that is exported to South Africa via the Sasol Petroleum International Gas Pipeline, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Mozambique Country Report.
The Mozambican government is considering a proposal to build a pipeline from Rovuma to South Africa’s Gauteng province that would also deliver gas to Mozambican towns along the route. That project – expected to cost at least $6-billion – is spearheaded by SacOil Holdings in partnership with the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau.
With such a spotlight on the country’s natural energy resources, it is the perfect time for Maputo, the capital city, to host the third Mozambique Gas Summit & Exhibition, organised by industry events and training provider CWC Group, from November 30 to December 2 this year.
At the summit, energy leaders from several nations will meet local government officials and Mozambican companies to discuss opportunities for the development of the country’s gas industry through projects and partnerships.
The event is staged in partnership with Mozambican national oil and gas company ENH and supported by the Institute of National Petroleum of Mozambique (INP) and the state oil and gas company CMH.
The first day of the summit will focus on draft Mozambican legislation aimed at regulating the business links between major projects and small and medium-sized Mozambican enterprises as natural resource exploitation speeds up in the country and attracts rising investment.
Key topics to be addressed in this regard include the status of the legislation; how local companies can qualify for gas and LNG projects; how to build capacity in Mozambique to accommodate these projects; and how to bridge skills gaps and develop local best practice.
Over the next two days of the event, the Mozambican government will explain its vision for the industry and national and international companies will lead panels focusing on case studies, current gas projects, the gas market, new technologies and project financing, among other topics.
ENH chairman Omar Mithá, INP president Carlos Zacarias, CMH chairman Estevão Pale, and Dr Vasco Nhabinde, director in the Mozambican Ministry of Economy and Finance, are some of the speakers confirmed for the summit.
On the sidelines of the event, summit-goers will be able to explore exhibitions by companies including ENH, ExxonMobil, Technip, and General Electric Oil & Gas.(source: Business Day) Read more about the summit here.
This article was paid for by CWC Group.