By Alexandre Nhampossa
Qatar Petroleum, the world’s largest producer of LNG, has entered into an agreement with an ExxonMobil affiliate to acquire a 10% participating interest in three offshore exploration blocks in the Angoche and Zambezi basins in Mozambique, the company announced on Saturday.
The agreement is subject to customary regulatory approvals by the Mozambican government. Following such approval, the deal, the first the company has announced since Qatar said it would leave OPEC in early December will leave Exxon as operator with a 50% stake in the block, state oil company ENH with 20% stake, Russian oil company Rosneft with 20% and Qatar Petroleum (QP) with 10% participating interest.
Commenting on this occasion, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, and President & CEO of QP, said the county was pleased to sign this agreement, with their long-time partner ExxonMobil to participate in exploring these frontier offshore basins in Mozambique.
“This is a milestone for Qatar Petroleum as it marks its first foray into Mozambique’s promising offshore basins”, he said
“We hope that the exploration efforts, which will commence soon, will be successful, and we look forward collaborating with ExxonMobil, Rosneft and ENH on this opportunity” he added saying that this signature is very much in line with their growth strategy in QP with a new country entry prospective frontier basins with significant hydrocarbon resource potential.
The offshore blocks are A5-B which lies in the Angoche basin, and Z5-C and Z5-D, which lie in the Zambezi basin. Both basins are frontier and underexplored. The two Zambezi blocks have a total area of about 10,200 square km with water depths ranging from about 200 to 2,000 meters, while the Angoche basin block has an area of about 6,450 square km with water depths ranging from about 1,800 to 2,500 meters.
It is certainly good news for Mozambique that finds itself plunged into an economic crisis. Last year, the Mozambican state struck $ 350 million in the business of purchasing 25 percent of Eni’s shares in Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin in the province of Cabo Delgado by ExxonMobil.