Sasol Wins Exploration License Offshore Mozambique


Sasol on Tuesday welcomed the Mozambican Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs' conditional approval of an independent environmental impact assessment (EIA) report. This allows Sasol to explore for hydrocarbons (such as gas) in an area covering approximately 10 000 square kilometers off the Mozambican coast.

Sasol will now initiate work required to satisfy conditions set out in the EIA by the Mozambican authorities. This will lead to the commencement of exploration activities in the first quarter of 2007.

"It is our vision to play a dynamic role in the development of the energy resources of Southern Africa. We are committed to developing and stimulating the region's gas, liquid fuels and chemical industries," says Sasol group general manager Lean Strauss.

Strauss says that discovery of additional hydrocarbon resources in Mozambique will unlock additional wealth for Mozambique though much-needed foreign investment, and economic skills and social development.

"It will significantly build on the success we have already achieved with the Mozambican government through our natural gas venture. This started delivering natural gas along an 865km long trans-border pipeline between Mozambique and South Africa in 2004," Strauss says.

The exploration area, known as Blocks 16 and 19, is directly offshore the gas field that currently supplies natural gas to Sasol's petrochemical operations and customers in South Africa and Mozambique.

Sasol recognizes the significant conservation and tourism potential of the project area. As a responsible corporate citizen, operating both locally and internationally, Sasol remains committed to safety, protection of the environment and responsible management of environmental and social impacts associated with the proposed exploration activities.

Sasol will continue to engage and consult with the relevant stakeholder groups in preparation for and during the exploration phase, as was the case during the EIA process.

Sasol Petroleum International, a wholly owned Sasol subsidiary, will be the exploration operator with an 85% interest in the operation, while Mozambique's national oil company, Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), holds the remaining 15%.