Sa­sol re­ceives Mozam­bique nod

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Lisa Steyn Min­ing & En­ergy Writer steynl@busi­nesslive.co.za

Sa­sol has been awarded two new li­cences for gas ex­plo­ration in Mozam­bique. The coun­try has be­come a hot­bed of in­vestor ac­tiv­ity af­ter one of the largest gas finds in re­cent his­tory off­shore in the Rovuma basin, near Tan­za­nia.

Fuel and petro­chem­i­cals com­pany Sa­sol has been awarded two new li­cences for gas ex­plo­ration in Mozam­bique.

The coun­try has be­come a hot­bed of in­vestor ac­tiv­ity af­ter one of the largest gas finds in re­cent his­tory off­shore in the Rovuma basin, near Tan­za­nia.

Ac­cord­ing to Deloitte, the coun­try has at­tracted 23 for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment projects since 2010 and $12.5bn in cap­i­tal.

Sa­sol now has the go-ahead to ex­plore an on­shore area of more than 3,000km² in south­ern Mozam­bique, and is also part of a suc­cess­ful bid to ex­plore 5,145km² fur­ther north in the off­shore An­goche Basin.

Sa­sol holds an in­ter­est of 70% in the first block and 25.5% in the sec­ond. Ex­ec­u­tive vi­cepres­i­dent for up­stream, Jon Har­ris, said on the side­lines of the Africa Oil Week con­fer­ence Sa­sol is ex­cited about the south­ern Mozam­bi­can block as it ad­joins its gas-pro­duc­ing Pande and Te­mane fields. “We know there is a hy­dro­car­bon sys­tem in the vicin­ity of this block so we know there is a very good chance we might find some more gas.”

The pro­duc­tion li­cence for Pande and Te­mane, due to ex­pire in 2022, has been ex­tended for 20 years, Har­ris said.

About 20% of the gas Sa­sol pro­duces in Mozam­bique is used for power gen­er­a­tion there. The bal­ance mainly feeds into an 860km pipe­line to its Se­cunda plant in SA, to be used in its pro­duc­tion pro­cesses. Sa­sol is also look­ing at the fea­si­bil­ity of a pipe­line to move gas from Rovuma (which would have to be pur­chased) to SA. This would be costly and a suf­fi­cient load would be needed to war­rant it, Har­ris said.

“But we would love to find more gas ... and not have to try and build an­other pipe­line.”

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