Maputo, Mozambique — 12 June 2013 – Mozambique’s state-backed petroleum company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) has confirmed that it is not interested in selling its stake in the Rovuma offshore gas field to international producers.
“Is not in our minds to sell,” CEO Nelson Ocuane told Bloomberg News in an interview in the capital city. “Our mandate is to add value to the natural resource discoveries in the country.”
ENH has a 15% interest in the Rovuma-1 block, which has reserves larger than those of Libya, according to Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, the operator of the block.
Ocuane said several international companies that had expressed an interest in gaining a foothold in the block had been rebuffed.
“We can only materialise our vision with our participation in all of the process, including the development of the project and the investment phase,” Ocuane said. “Our vision is to make ENH profitable in the next few years and, if possible, to increase our stakes.”
India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corporation and Oil India Limited are among companies weighing bids for a stake in Rovuma owned by ENH, according to a person familiar with the matter. ENH was also reported to be gauging interest from Chinese energy firms, two people said at the time.
ENH will need to invest close to US$1 billion for the development of the field in the next few years, equivalent to 20 to 30% of the project, said Ocuane.
“We are still talking about preliminary figures, which can vary according to how many plants will be built,” he explained. “The final estimates will be ready next year,” he added, “and talks will take place with commercial banks and development agencies to provide some of the financing.”
Ocuane confirmed that the strategy was already approved. “We had a good experience on Sasol’s Pande Temane project where we had important support from international financial institutions, and we are comfortable in saying money for investment will not be a problem.”
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.