Mozambique President Sacks Energy Minister

Mozambique president Filipe Nyusi has sacked Energy Minister Pedro Couto who has headed the docket since January 2015 at a crucial time when the country is preparing to enter the development phase with various companies including Eni and Anadarko are expected to submit their final investment decision soon.

Pedro Couto is a former deputy finance minister according to Reuters Couto has been appointed as president of Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa hydroelectric power company a government agency he was overseeing as the energy and mineral resources minister.

It is estimated that Mozambique has 100-180 trillion cubic feet of natural gas which have attracted attention from some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world, including  Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, Statoil, Anadarko Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Russia’s Rosneft.

To date Anadarko alongside offshore Area 4 operator Eni have signed the Unitization and Unit Operating Agreement (UUOA) a unitization set out for the development of natural gas reservoirs straddling Areas 4 and 1 in the Rovuma Basin, offshore Mozambique.

The country hopes to export LNG through two initial LNG trains, each with capacity of 6 million tonnes per annum with the possibility of about 50 million tonnes of LNG per year during the peak phase.

Standard Bank estimates that developing LNG in Palma will facilitate a real GDP increase of 800% by 2035 with the Government of Mozambique receiving in excess of USD 200 billion in receipts over the life of a 6-train facility.The domestic gas possibilities are underpinned by LNG and the majority of the gas for such purposes will come from the Prosperidade and Mamba fields which are expected to be developed for trains 3 onwards.

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