Mozambique believes there are signs of oil in Rovuma Basin

Sep 30, 2005 02:00 AM

The Mozambican authorities believe there are signs of the presence of oil in the basin of the Rovuma river, that marks the border between Mozambique and Tanzania, and an international tender has already been launched to select suitable specialised companies for the necessary prospection in that area.
Nelson Ocuane, exploration manager of the research department at the Mozambican National Oil Institute, told "areas can be found in that basin that contain heavy oil", and explained that in geological terms, the Rovuma basin "can be compared with neighbouring Madagascar", where oil was found. He added that signs uncovered in some sites in that area show either oil or natural gas may be found there, besides those where there is a strong hope of finding heavy oil.

The Mozambican government launched in London recently a six month international tender for the concession of oil prospection areas in the Rovuma basin, but there has been no response, so far. Ocuane explained this apparent lack of interest with the fact that this area is "very specific and complex, and oil companies need to study every detail before they start prospection".
In launching the London tender, the National Oil Institute presented geological and geophysical data of the areas concerned to allow the companies to interpret them for themselves.

Ocuane said that it will be possible, by 31 January next year, to have a concrete idea about the proposals that are expected to be submitted.
"At this moment, we are working on an economic model, where the government will state its position concerning the region, particularly after assessing what the interested companies are offering as their proposals. And from then we will tell whether or not there are feasible opportunities of oil prospection", he said.

The most important thing is to select a company that is serious, through this international tender, explained Ocuane, adding that the idea would be to have a number of companies acquiring these concessions (the area has been divided into seven blocks), because thus the job would be faster.
As conditions to take part in the tender, the Mozambican government demand that the interested companies have their own experienced geotechnicians and also prove that they have done similar work elsewhere. The winners of the tender will be announced in February or March 2006.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique
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