Mozambique’s Petroleum Regulator Submits Review of Oil Laws

Mozambique’s petroleum regulator said it has completed its review of the southern African nation’s oil law and submitted it to a ministerial council for discussion.

The revised draft will then be sent to Parliament during this session, which ends in May, Jose de Barros, a legal adviser at the National Petroleum Institute, known as INP, said in an e-mailed response to questions. Once approved, the bill be submitted to the president for signoff, published in the government gazette, and be considered in force, he said.

INP is also revising petroleum operations regulations, including model concession contracts for production and transportation, De Barros said.

“We expect to have this legislation approved soon after the approval and effectiveness of the petroleum law,” he said.

Mozambique is home, along with Tanzania and Kenya, to the biggest natural-gas discoveries in a decade. It’s reviewing petroleum and mining laws as it looks to benefit from higher commodity prices. Eni SpA and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. found gas under the ocean off Mozambique, while Vale SA, the largest iron-ore exporter, and Rio Tinto Plc have coal assets there.

Eni said today it will get $4.2 billion from the sale of a stake in its assets in the country to China National Petroleum Corp. Anadarko is in talks with potential customers in Japan to buy supplies from a joined liquefied natural-gas plant in Mozambique that it’s planning with Eni, it said today.

The southern African nation’s offshore fields may hold as much as 250 trillion cubic feet of gas, enough to meet world consumption for more than two years, according to Mozambique’s petroleum exploration company, Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos.

“We’re going to try to give it priority,”Mozambican Energy Minister Salvador Namburete said of having a revision to the petroleum law passed. The ministry didn’t have control over its passage through parliament and council, he said.

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