Mozambique launches new hydrocarbon tender

26 October 2014, Maputo — The Mozambican government, through the National Petroleum Institute (INP), has launched its fifth tender for hydrocarbon prospection blocks.

The tender was launched simultaneously in Maputo and in London. The Minister of Mineral Resources, Esperanca Bias, officiated at the London ceremony.

Mozambican and foreign companies interested in exploring for petroleum and gas in Mozambican sedimentary basins have until 20 January to submit their bids for one or more of the 15 blocks covered by the tender.

At the Maputo launch, Jose Branquinho, the director of resource assessment in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, said the tender had been awaited with great expectation by both domestic and international hydrocarbon companies.

Huge discoveries of natural gas have been made by the US company Anadarko and ENI of Italy in two blocks of the Rovuma basin off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado. So far the reserves discovered total around 200 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Three of the blocks in the new tender are also in the Rovuma Basin, while the remaining 12 are in the Mozambique Basin, eight offshore and four onshore. The Mozambique Basin covers an area of half a million square kilometres, stretching from the Zambezi Delta to the border with South Africa.

Branquinho said that companies interested in bidding for the blocks would have to prove their technical and financial capacities, since hydrocarbon exploration, particularly offshore, involves sophisticated technology and large sums of money.

To participate in the tender, companies must pay 500,000 meticais (about 16,240 US dollars). Branquinho said that bidders must also prove that they operate robust health, safety and environmental policies, which show that they will not inflict ecological disasters on the country.

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