“These will be the first oil wells in Mozambique that go to full development. Probably in two, maximum three years”, said Stephen Cornell, one of Sasol’s joint chief executives in an interview with Reuters.
To date, Sasol has been operating the onshore Pande and Temane gasfields, producing natural gas and condensate, in the southern province of Inhambane. The recent hydrocarbon discoveries in the Rovuma basin, in the far north, off the coast of Cabo Delgado province, by consortia headed by the US company Anadarko, and by ENI of Italy, have all been of gas, rather than oil.
Cornell said that Sasol has drilled four of 12 planned wells, all of them with positive results, two of them for gas, and the other two for oil. “In one of the areas where we expected mostly gas we found gas and oil”, he added.
Cornell said Sasol had discovered oil in Mozambique before but only as “part of an appraisal of the field and that helped us know where to drill.” But he added that Mozambique is still “primarily a gas play.”
Cornell was speaking after Sasol announced interim results. The company is struggling with the effect of the strengthening of the South African currency, the rand, against the US dollar. It posted a decline in interim earnings, and is scaling back planned capital expenditure.
The capital expenditure estimate for the full financial year was cut to 66 billion rand (about five billion dollars) from 75 billion rand, Cornell said, “largely due to the impact of the stronger rand/U.S. dollar exchange rate.”
As required by Mozambican law, Sasol has issued a “notice of discovery” of the oil finds to the government.Post published in: Featured