Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Mozambican parliament approves new Hydrocarbon Law

Mozambique’s long awaited petroleum law has been approved by the parliament with substantial amendments by MPs who argued that the changes will strengthen the role of the Mozambican state in oil and gas exploration and production.

The bill, which will come into effect by the end of the year, was approved with votes from Frelimo and MDM. Renamo voted against the bill on the grounds the High Authority of the Extractive Industry – the body that oversees oil and gas operations - must be composed by elected members from all political parties.
The most important point in the new law is perhaps the fact that the state, through the National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH), controls the production, transport, marketing and transformation of all LNG and their derivatives.

It also states that the government must create the conditions for the involvement of Mozambican business people in the oil and gas industry. This is in response to local businesses who have been demanding a better share in the oil and gas business.

The sector is currently dominated by giant multinationals such as Anadarko and ENI and their own international service suppliers. It is very unlikely that any local company will venture into bidding for concessions of oil and gas exploration areas because they neither have the necessary expertise, nor the funds. They have, however, asked the government to introduce a special regiment that forces multinationals to contract local companies for service and products supply.

For a comprehensive analysis of Mozambique’s petroleum law, the Renamo amnesty deal - otherwise unavailable in the international press - and the political, business and security issues affecting Mozambique, please see our latest issue of Mozambique Politics and Security.

© 2014 Menas Associates

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