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Sasol, Eni Plan Study of a Gas-to-Liquids Plant in Mozambique

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July 3 (Bloomberg) -- Sasol Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of motor fuel from coal, is considering a gas-to-liquids plant in Mozambique with Eni SpA of Italy and the southern African country’s oil company.

The joint pre-feasibility study will assess the viability of such a plant in the region, Johannesburg-based Sasol said in a statement on its website.

Eni has found about 75 trillion cubic feet of gas offshore Mozambique in a block known as Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin, site of the biggest gas discoveries in a decade. The country may have 250 trillion cubic feet of reserves, according to state-owned oil company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos.

There is “quite an extended study period,” Alex Anderson, a spokesman for Sasol, said by phone. He said it’s too early to determine how long the study will take or the cost of such a plant.

Sasol started its first GTL plant outside South Africa in Qatar in 2007. With Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and Chevron Corp. it’s built a similar facility in Africa’s biggest economy, and it’s constructing one in Uzbekistan with Uzbekneftegaz and Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

Sasol will make a final investment choice on a U.S. GTL plant 18 to 24 months after it decides on an associated ethane cracker in Westlake, Louisiana. The GTL facility, which may produce 96,000 barrels of fuel a day, is estimated to cost as much as $14 billion and would be the first of its kind in the U.S.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net Ana Monteiro, Randall Hackley

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