History of Petroleum Exploration in Mozambique

Exploration for hydrocarbons in Mozambique goes back to 1904 when the early explorers discovered thick sedimentary basins onshore Mozambique. Poor technology and lack of funds halted those early exploration attempts.

From 1948 onwards international oil companies moved into Mozambique and carried out extensive exploration, mainly onshore with limited activity offshore. As a result the Pande Gas Field was discovered in 1961 by Gulf Oil followed by the gas discoveries of Búzi (1962) and Temane (1967).
Exploration activity declined in the early 1970’s due to political unrest.

New activity was established in the early 1980’s with the enactment of law 3/81 and creation of ENH. In the following years extensive work was carried out to map and appraise the Pande Field.

A breakthrough was made in 1993 when it became clear that the Pande Field could be mapped using direct hydrocarbon indicators (DHI) from seismic data and it turned out that there was a giant bright spot at the top of the reservoir. The method was later also used to map the Temane field with good result.

From 1970 to 1980 there have only been drilled 6 wildcat wells in Mozambique – 3 of them offshore.
An extensive drilling campaign conducted by Sasol in 2003 which included exploration and production wells in the Pande/Temane Block allowed the expansion of gas reserves and the discovery of Inhassoro Gas Field, making total of 5.504 trillion cubic feet (TCF).