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Oil companies should mitigate environmental damage in Mozambique

Mozambique’s minister of mineral resources and energy, Max Tonela, said on Thursday that the government would consider the ability to mitigate climate change in the selection of oil companies interested in hydrocarbon projects in the country

Tonela was speaking at the launch of the sixth international tender to license areas for oil and gas exploration and production.

“We are fully committed to carrying out an open, transparent process that allows the selection of investors through criteria based on technical capacity, financial robustness, proven experience in the development of oil and gas projects and that adopt climate change mitigation measures,” he said.  

He noted that the world is going through an era of energy transition that aims to end the use of fossil fuels, but emphasised that natural gas – which Mozambique has a lot of – will play an instrumental role to accompany the massification of renewable energy, as it is still “intermittent.  

“We intend to continue to promote research and exploration of natural resources to leverage the social and economic development of our country and to promote better living conditions for our populations,” Max Tonela said.

Asked by journalists about the relevance of the launch today of the sixth tender, while preliminary work on the fifth is still underway, he said that the first borehole of the areas currently being researched would be opened in the first quarter of 2022.

Tonela noted that research and prospecting for hydrocarbons “is time-consuming work.

Today’s tender covers 16 areas in deep waters in the Rovuma, Angoche, Zambezi and Save regions, covering 92,000 square kilometres.  

The Rovuma basin, under the ocean floor in the open sea off the coast of Cabo Delgado (north of the country), already has areas awarded.

Some of the largest gas reserves in the world were discovered there and will start being explored in 2022.

The results of the new tender, launched today, will be announced in a year.

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