01 December 2013, Maputo — The South African petro-chemical giant, Sasol, announced in Cape Town recently that it expects to produce crude oil commercially in Mozambique, from a small field in the southern province of Inhambane, as from 2014.
The field is onshore, in Inhassoro district, near Sasol’s existing natural gas processing facility at Temane.
Cited by the Reuters news agency, the managing director of Sasol Petroleum International, Ebbie Han, said “It’s a small development, but it’s a sign that perhaps there is more”.
Haan thought that, if two wells were drilled at Inhassoro, “you probably get 2,000 barrels a day”.
A source in he Mozambican Ministry of Mineral Resources confirmed to AIM on Friday that Sasol has indeed been exploring in Inhassoro and has discovered light oil (“condensado”, in Portuguese).
Sasol says that, by the end of its appraisal programme in March this year, it had produced over 236,000 barrels of light oil.
The discovery is clearly connected with the Inhambane gas fields. A Sasol document of April notes that natural gas was discovered in Inhassoro as long ago as 1965 by the US company Gulf Oil. But when Sasol became the operator it confirmed the presence of oil as well.
“Two oil legs in the field have subsequently been identified”, says the Sasol document in 2003 (the “lower leg”, known as Inhassoro-4), and in 2007 (the “upper leg, below the gas cap”, known as Inhassoro-6).
An extended well test was undertaken as from March 2012, and Sasol presented a report on its findings to the Mozambican government’s National Petroleum Institute (INP) in November of that year.
If Sasol’s optimism proves well founded, and the Inhassoro field can be exploited commercially, this will be Mozambique’s first ever export of oil.