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Anadarko: Gas exploration in Rovuma Basin, Mozambique

The Rovuma Basin lies off the northern coast of Mozambique. In recent years, large reservoirs of natural gas have been found there that are suitable for projects of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).The gas is cooled down to more than minus 150 degrees Celsius and can then be stored and transported in its liquified form.

Operators in the Rovuma Basin are Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (US), Mitsui (JP) and Cove Energy (UK) that run among others the Golfinho well. This well was drilled to a depth of 14,885 feet (4.500 meter) in water depths of about 3,370 feet (1.000 meter).

Anadarko celebrated the discovery of gas as a huge success. However, the previous seismic survey has already been criticized by environmental organisations for its damaging effects on marine animals and financial losses of local fishermen. Many issues have already been reported such as the massive deaths of shallow-water bottom-feeding sea-grass fish, shellfish, and turtles. As a result of the seismic program, three different species of mollusk were found dead on the beaches of one community. As for the communities within the seismic program area, several harpoon fishermen suffered hearing injuries from the seismic guns while fishing. Many fishermen were forced to suspend their fishing activities for extended periods of time. This negatively impacted the communities’ means of subsistence and, according to the local fishermen,
they were not given any compensation.