Deepwater Frontiers: Mozambique Discovery

Anadarko has announced a dramatic new find offshore Mozambique, with reserves ranging from 15 to 30 TCF. This is an exciting development in the world of offshore exploration and production, and it’s clear that we’re seeing the culmination of many years of multi-disciplinary cross-trained teamwork, with new technologies and interpretive techniques as well as new information.

AAPG Education recognizes the need for professionals working in deepwater environments to be familiar with basin modeling, wide and multi-azimuth seismic, new 3D imaging, reservoir modeling, geomechanics, and more. So, our geoscience technology workshops bring together experts in the different fields in a way that allows discussion, sharing, and knowledge transfer. Our Deepwater Reservoirs GTW to be held in Houston from January 24-25 has a solid list of presentations, and we’re still seeking top-notch presentations over new frontiers.

On a personal note, I was excited to see the announcement of the Mozambique discovery. I spent two weeks in Mozambique in 2003. It was fascinating to be in the former Portuguese colony. I was working on an economic development project, which took me to the Manica provice (Chimoio) near the border of Zimbabwe, and also to Beira, which is on the coast, north of Maputo. The Indian Ocean was stunning, and it was very relaxing to walk across the gleaming sands, and then to swim in the warm waters.

At that time, Mozambique was recovering from the twin horrors of an extensive flood and also the ravages of a 30-year civil war which left many land mines throughout the country. There was very little new infrastructure and the old Portuguese buildings were architecturally stunning, but crumbling. I became familiar with the writings of the postmodernist author, Mia Couto, whose surrealist, intensely vivid writing has been likened to that of the magical realists of South America. It’s definitely different, though, and very intriguing. Strains of Angola and Cabo Verde could be heard coming from the restaurants — kizomba was big. My favorites were the Irmaoes Verdades, from Luanda. At the time, money was pouring into the country from Zimbabwe, where “White Zims” were fleeing while they could with what they could. I stayed in a bed and breakfast owned by two Zimbabweans from Matare, who told hair-raising stories of pillaging of farms, which started a few decades ago. What’s left of Zimbabwe? I often wonder…

As I reflect on the discovery offshore Mozambique, I am happy for the people of Mozambique who may now have more bridges, infrastructure, schools, and hospitals, thanks to oil revenues invested prudently for the future.

Mozambique Market (sketch by susan nash)

(sketch of market in chimoio, mozambique by susan nash)

In the meantime, I’m excited about the potential for new technologies and new approaches — this is an exciting time!

Last 5 posts by Susan Nash

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