LONDON Oct 1 Some of the world's biggest oil
firms including Exxon Mobil and Shell are keen
to play a part in developing Mozambique's huge gas fields, an
executive from the country's national oil company said on
Tavares Martinho, exploration director at Empresa Nacional
de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), told a conference in London there was
strong interest in an offering of exploration areas, which he
said was due to be announced by the end of the month.
"We are starting to see Shell in Mozambique, yes,
not only Shell, all companies, even Exxon Mobil, Chevron
are willing to come to Mozambique and they will be
welcome," Martinho told reporters on the sidelines of the
conference on Monday.
The gas fields discovered by U.S. explorer Anadarko
and Italy's ENI off the coast of Mozambique have thrust
East Africa into the limelight as a new hydrocarbon region,
attracting the interest of major oil firms.
Shell earlier this year tried and failed to access
Mozambique's gas when it was outbid in the race to buy British
firm Cove Energy.
Media reports and analysts have since speculated that Shell
could now look to buy a stake in some Mozambique gas assets that
Cove shares with Anadarko, but Martinho said ENH had not had any
notification from Anadarko regarding plans to bring in a new
"They (Anadarko) haven't come yet with the formal letter. If
there are negotiations they are on the level of Shell and
Anadarko. This is not official," he said.
The upcoming licensing round will offer companies the chance
to bid for the right to explore deep water areas in the Rovuma
basin, where Anadarko and ENI made their discoveries, and also
offshore areas of the Zambezi Delta, Martinho said.