Mozambique Passes Petroleum Law and Tax Break for Eni, Anadarko

Mozambique’s lawmakers approved petroleum laws that open the way for new oil and gas bids as well as a special tax break for offshore fields operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Eni SpA to aid their development.

The oil and gas industry legislation states that at least 25 percent of gas produced must be for local consumption. This law and a bill on the taxation of the Rovuma-1 and Rovuma-4 areas were approved yesterday in parliament in the capital, Maputo.

The southeast African nation’s offshore fields may hold enough gas to meet global demand for more than two years, according to Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, the state-owned oil company that holds stakes in the Rovuma-1 deposit operated by Anadarko and in the Eni fields. The fuel will feed liquefied natural gas export plants for shipment to world markets.

The government is finalizing the process for new oil and gas bids and will conclude this by the end of the year, Mineral Resources Minister Esperanca Bias said. “We were waiting for the petroleum law to be approved,” she said in an interview. “Now we have the tool we were seeking for new bids because those must be regulated by the new bill.”

While the new bill enables Eni and Anadarko to pay less tax, the final percentages have yet to be released, Bias said.

“The bill was passed and despite waiting for some corrections after final approval, we feel comfortable because it will help to attract move investments and develop gas projects protecting the investors and their investments,” she said. “The value of the investments in Area 1 and 4 are big and we need to give comfort to investors for gas-project development.”

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