Akin Gump: Mozambique, Tanzania are updating petroleum laws

The governments of Mozambique and Tanzania are developing laws and regulations so those nations can tap into revenues from potential natural gas export projects, a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Field LLP said during a midyear energy briefing on June 4.

Marc C. Hammerson of the Akin Gump London oil and gas practice said East African governments are working on licensing oil and gas rights.

Mozambique has discussed a new petroleum law since 2009, Hammerson said, adding an updated law is yet to be approved although he believes it could happen this year or next year. The East Africa nation’s current petroleum law was enacted in 2001.

Hammerson said an updated petroleum law likely will addresses obligations for operators related to environmental criteria, local-content requirements, and financial disclosure issues. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Eni SPA, and Statoil are among international companies with interests in Mozambique.

Al Walker, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. chairman, president, and chief operating officer, has said, “We believe, as we go into the next decade, Mozambique will emerge as the third-largest exporter of LNG in the world.”

Since 2010, Anadarko and its partners have drilled more than 25 deepwater wells within the Offshore Area 1 Block discovering an estimated 50-70 tcf of recoverable natural gas. Additionally, Anadarko and its partners are advancing an LNG development onshore.

Tanzania is studying whether it has sufficient gas for LNG exports, which Hammerson suggested could start around 2020. Tanzania issued a model production-sharing agreement last year, updating 2008 PSA terms.

Statoil ASA and ExxonMobil Corp. late last year announced their fifth natural gas discovery on Block 2 offshore Tanzania amounting to an additional 2-3 tcf.

The Mronge-1 well discovered gas at two separate levels, with the primary accumulation at the same stratigraphic level as proven in the Zafarani-1 well on Block 2, and the secondary accumulation in a separate, younger gas-bearing reservoir in a play that has not been tested on Block 2. Statoil estimates Block 2 in-place volumes at 17-20 tcf.

Helge Lund, Statoil’s chief executive officer, previously said the company is looking into possible LNG projects resulting from offshore Tanzania discoveries (OGJ Online, Oct. 8, 2013).

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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