The consortium formed by the Italian oil company, ENI, and the Portuguese Galp–Energia expects to start drilling for oil and gas in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, by September.
ENI holds 70 per cent of the shares in this consortium and Galp-Energia the remaining 30 per cent. The contract the Mozambican government has signed with the consortium envisages an exploration period of eight years, followed by 30 years for the production phase, on the assumption that hydrocarbons are discovered.
According to the general manager of Galp–Energia, Carlos Ferreira, cited in Monday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias“, drilling should have started in May, but was postponed first to June and now to September, to allow time for the arrival of all the drilling equipment.
The consortium will be drilling in waters that are up to 2,600 metres deep. This is much deeper than the wells drilled further north by the Houston-based company Anadarko. The six offshore wells drilled by Anadarko are in about 1,500 metres of water.
The ENI-GALP consortium can take encouragement from the fact that four of the Anadarko wells made large discoveries of natural gas. Anadarko believes that the gas finds in its concession are sufficiently large to justify investment in a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility.
Anadarko also found oil, but not in commercially viable amounts. But the search for oil in the Rovuma Basin is continuing.
Other companies granted concessions in the Rovuma Basin are Norsk Hydro of Norway and Petronas of Malaysia.