Sasol in Mozambican gas venture

18 July 2008

South African petrochemical company Sasol and Mozambican state-owned energy company Empresa Naçional de Hidrocarbonetos have finalised drilling and towing contracts to pursue their hydrocarbon exploration project off the Mozambican coast.

The two have signed a lease agreement for a mobile offshore drilling unit with Transocean Offshore International Ventures, while two towing and anchor handling vessels to support the rig will be supplied by the Varun Shipping Company.

The rig and vessels are expected to arrive in Mozambique towards the end of August, with drilling operations expected to start in the third quarter of 2008.

“The drilling of explorations wells will take place in deep water, well away from the shallow environmentally sensitive waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago,” Sasol International Energy Cluster group GM Lean Strauss said in a statement this week.

“Safety and protection of the environment will be key to the drilling exploration program that is expected to be completed by year end.”

Concession holders

Sasol Petroleum Sofala Limitada and Empresa Naçional de Hidrocarbonetos are the concession holders of Blocks 16 and 19 offshore Mozambique. The exploration area covers about 11 000 square kilometres and is directly opposite Sasol’s existing onshore gas operations at Pande and Temane.

“The drilling campaign is a further demonstration of our commitment to upstream development in Mozambique and the technical and commercial ability of Sasol to execute upstream exploration projects,” said Strauss.

“We recently completed our seismic operation in the two blocks incident free and with no impact on the environment.”

Should the drilling campaign be successful, Sasol intends to supply the natural gas to markets in Mozambique and South Africa.

SAinfo reporter

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