Maputo — Mozambique and Equatorial Guinea have agreed to cooperate in hydrocarbon training , exploration and operations, an area in which the west African state has a great deal of experience.
To this end, the Mozambican Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Max Tonela, on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding in Maputo with Equatoguinean Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Obiang Lima.
The document also establishes cooperation in mechanisms for certification and control of the quality and quantity of hydrocarbons. In the initial phase of implementing the memorandum, Mozambique will send a group of ten students for training in Equatorial Guinea.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Tonela said that Equatorial Guinea's experience in hydrocarbons will help build Mozambican capacity in processing natural gas. This will mean that there will be trained Mozambicans who will be able to work on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) factories planned for Palma district in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
“Also this year, Mozambique will be able to send to Equatorial Guinea a group of Mozambicans with academic training who can work on petroleum installations”, he added. These interchanges would work both ways, in that Mozambique could also accept Equatoguinean students “to learn in the area of mining”.
Tonela also hoped that Mozambique will be able to benefit from Equatorial Guinea's membership of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
For his part, Lima stressed that Equatorial Guinea is willing to share its knowledge with other African countries. He said that Equatorial Guinea has been producing oil for about 20 years and LNG for the past seven years.
“We have to cooperate with Mozambique to help it in the hydrocarbon industry”, he declared.
The memorandum of understanding arises from a visit to Mozambique by Equatoguinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema in April 2017.
The recent drilling offshore in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of Cabo Delgado, indicates that Mozambique has reserves of at least 180 million cubic feet of natural gas. This will make Mozambique one of the largest exporters of natural gas in the world.