Mozambique presents study plans for seismic survey

Jul 26, 2006 02:00 AM

The Mozambican government presented the terms of reference for an environmental study to determine the impact of off shore seismic surveys, preparatory to oil prospection, in the north of the country.
According to a report, the seismic surveys will take place in blocks 2 and 5, in the Rovuma basin, which is on the border with Tanzania.

A contract for oil prospection in that area was recently signed between the publicly owned Mozambican National Hydrocarbons Company (ENH) and the Norwegian Hydro Oil & Gas Mozambique, granting exclusive rights to this company.
The agreement allows 30 months for two dimensional seismic surveys in each of the two areas, another 30 months for three dimensional surveys, and a further 36 months for the opening of exploratory wells.

Under Mozambican law, the concessionary must conduct an environmental study before carrying out any seismic surveys. To this end, Hydro Oil & Gas Mozambique has hired the Mozambican company Impacto, Projectos e Estudos Ambientais and the South African firm, Mark Wood Consultants, companies with recognised experience in environmental studies.
A technical team has already been dispatched to the coastal district of Quissanga to start studying the environmental impact of seismic surveys, paying particular attention to the Quirimbas National Park and possible socio-economic impacts on the local population. The study must determine the possible impact on aspects such as fishing and soil erosion.

The Quirimbas Park consists of an archipelago, and a strip of coast where protected species such as dugongs feed and reproduce. The park contains coral reefs, and turtle nesting sites.
The study is also expected to answer questions on the impact of the seismic surveys on marine species that are sensitive to noise, particularly whales, and also any possible interference with the migration routes of marine mammals.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique
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