Mozambique to prospect for natural gas in Sofala

Jun 21, 2004 02:00 AM

All is set for drilling the first well in the search for reserves of natural gas in the Inhaminga block, in the central Mozambican province of Sofala. The drilling, in the Savane administrative post, in Dondo district, is scheduled to begin on the 29th anniversary of Mozambican independence.
The contract for this block was awarded to the Norwegian company Det Norske Olse-selskap (DNO), that has in turn hired the services of a Chinese contractor. The contractor's technical team left from Maputo for the drilling site earlier. The necessary equipment has arrived at the port of Beira and is being cleared through customs.

DNO general director Aasmund Erlandsen told that preliminary studies give strong indications of the presence of natural gas in the Inhaminga block. This company has already invested about $ 7.5 mm in prospection work in that area and, after the Savane drilling, it plans to open a second well in the area of Chinapamimba, in Muanza district. Preparations for this work involved demining the area, rehabilitating the roads leading to the drilling site, and an environmental impact study.
"In this project we are guided by geophysical studies done in 1969 and 1970, which showed that the area has a potential, in terms of natural gas, similar to that of Pande and Temane, in Inhambane province", Erlandsen said.

Gas from Pande and Temane is already being pumped to South Africa through a recently inaugurated pipeline.
He added that "what is left now is to locate exactly this resource. South Africa and Europe are the major markets. If natural gas is uncovered for industrial exploitation, we are planning to build a pipeline from the gas fields to Beira, where we also plan to sign agreements with some Mozambican companies for the production of electric power, besides processing the gas to produce fertilisers".

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique
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