News / Africa

Massive Gas Fields Discovered Off Mozambique

Multimedia

Audio
Delia Robertson

International energy companies say they have discovered potentially massive natural gas fields off the coast of Mozambique.

The Italian energy firm ENI last month announced two major finds in the Mamba South gas fields off Mozambique's northeastern coast.  The company said the field, located 45 kilometers off Cabo Delgado province, could yield more than 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The announcement follows that of the American oil company Anadarko, which said its gas fields in the same area could yield up to 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  And, Britain's Cove Energy PLC estimates it exploration field in the same area could eventually yield 40 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Gas flows are expected to come on line between 2014 and 2016.

"It is big," noted Tony Twine is director and senior economist at Econometrix, South Africa's largest independent macro-economic consultant firm. "It would provide about $150 billion at 2010 gas prices, it really is a significant find.  Incidentally, $150 billion is equivalent to ten full years of Mozambique gross domestic product.  So relative to their other sources of income, this is massive."

Twine says the fields are huge by any standards and promise an enormous financial windfall for the country.

Mozambique is one of the world's poorest countries, having emerged from a 15-year civil war in 1992 with its infrastructure devastated and its economy shattered.  The country has made many gains since then and continues to be one of the continent's fastest growing economies.  Even so, economists note this growth comes off a very small base, and that most Mozambicans still live on less than $1.25 a day.

Arsenio Mabote, the chief executive officer of Mozambique's National Petroleum Institute (INP) says the financial benefits from the gas must be used to develop the country's economy and its citizens.

"As I told you employment is very important to us, improvement of different infrastructure is very important for us, build up capacity," Mabote said. "Training of Mozambican employees is part of the package that we would like to see so that by exploiting natural resources like natural gas, will benefit the country."

And, Mabote sees benefits too for Cabo Delgado province where there have been almost no infrastructure improvements since the end of the civil war, two decades ago.

"It will enable us also to improve our basic infrastructure," Mabote added.  "As a matter of fact, if you look at Pemba where the gas discoveries are being made, you have no adequate infrastructure there, by implementing these kind of projects will definitely increase the infrastructure situation, improve the infrastructure situation."

Mobote says the country will also be looking to added-value projects to ensure even greater income and build capacity in Mozambique.

"Implementation of projects that add value to the gas in Mozambique - such as liquefied natural gas, ammonia projects, fertilizers, methanol projects, power generation projects - those projects will have a lot of importance because they will possible build up capacity in the country, train a lot of technicians as well and high-level technical people to work for those projects," Mobote  explained.

Economist Twine says that these are the dream projects that promise unbelievably high macro-economic gains.  But he says, even without the dream projects, Mozambique stands to gain well beyond the simple cash flow generate by exploiting the gas fields from royalties, mining rights, taxes on profits and personal incomes generated both upstream and downstream from the actual gas extraction.

"So the eventual Mozambican fiscal take, at a rough guess would probably be around about 30 percent of the total value added, which I guess would be in the region of $100 billion for the life of the project," Twine noted.  "So about $35 billion, which is 3 1/2 years' worth of Mozambican GDP, just popping up as direct revenue to the Mozambican government."

Twine says the benefits of such large gas fields will also flow to other countries in the region, such as Zimbabwe, Malawi and especially for South Africa, Mozambique's largest trading partner.

"And a rule of thumb applied by economists in South Africa is that for every dollar that is spent on Mozambique, wherever the dollar comes from, it doesn't matter for every dollar, 60 cents of that dollar in turn is spent on goods and services emanating from South Africa.  So even for its large economy neighbor South Africa, it would be very, very big," Twine added.

Large energy projects around the globe are often accompanied by corruption, where the cash flows often do not reach the national treasury.  Twine notes that in Angola, between 80 and 90 percent of oil revenues go missing.  But he says that in existing onshore gas projects in Mozambique the picture is very different and that revenues appear to go where they should.  He says this is encouraging for the potentially massive revenue windfall anticipated in Mozambique.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs