Eni to drill first exploration well in eight years offshore Mozambique

Matthew Hill and Paul Burkhardt, Bloomberg April 24, 2023

(Bloomberg) — Eni SpA, the Italian oil and gas major, is preparing to drill Mozambique’s first offshore exploration well in about eight years, according to the southeast African country’s regulator.

The West Capella vessel has already started initial drilling at the Raia-1 well that will explore what could be a new oil and gas basin off Mozambique’s coast. The target is near Angoche, about 375 miles (604 kilometers) south of the Rovuma basin, where the Rome-based company began producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) last year.

While it’s unknown whether Eni will find economic deposits of oil and gas off Angoche, the drilling could be the start of a new round of investments in Mozambique’s hydrocarbon industry. The company in 2018 signed the exploration contract with the authorities for Area A5-A, which fell under Mozambique’s fifth round of hydrocarbon block auctions. Eni declined to comment.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. completed Mozambique’s last offshore exploration well in mid-2015, Instituto Nacional de Petroleo, the country’s oil and gas regulator, said by email Monday.

TotalEnergies SE bought Anadarko’s stake in that development for $3.9 billion in 2019. The $20 billion LNG export project resulting from that exploration has been on hold for more than two years because of an Islamic State-linked insurgency in the region.

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