Mozambique eyes gas production deals by July next yr

MILAN, Sept 17 Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:32pm EDT

MILAN, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Mozambique plans to sign gas production contracts with Italy's Eni and Houston-based Anadarko by July next year to make sure that first gas from its lucrative Rovuma basin can start flowing by 2018, its minerals resources minister said.

The former Portuguese colony is rushing to get first gas from the offshore basin produced by the end of this decade as it competes with existing producers elsewhere keen to expand and newly emerging ones, especially from North America.

Analysts and other industry players have raised questions about Mozambique's ability to get production off the ground that quickly, but Minister Esperanca Bias said the plans were moving along.

"To have first gas in 2018 we are working towards having all contracts signed by July 2014," she told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Milan.

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