Sasol spokesperson Alex Anderson was unable to tell Fin24 how much oil and gas were estimated to be present in the area as “it was not possible at this stage of the process”.

The energy company has obtained approval from the Mozambique Council of Ministers for its field development plan (FDP) that would see the further development of hydrocarbon resources.

The “permission to drill for appraisal” was a step in the prospecting process whereby Sasol would evaluate the feasibility of extracting oil and gas at the site measuring approximately 8 370km².

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The first phase of the production-sharing agreement (PSA) licence area development proposed an integrated oil, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and gas project adjacent to Sasol’s existing Pande and Temane fields.

The Pande and Temane fields currently produce and process natural gas in a central processing facility before transporting it via a 865km pipeline to gas markets in Mozambique and South Africa.

“The Mozambican gas industry is playing an increasingly important role in the regional energy landscape, and this project represents a major milestone in further developing natural resources, which will significantly benefit southern Africa,” said David Constable, president and CEO of Sasol.