India and Mozambique Wednesday agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to accelerate cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.
This was decided at a meeting between Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily and Mozambique's Minister for Mineral Resources Esperanca Bias at the Petrotech 2014 international oil and gas conference in Greater Noida .
A draft of the MoU between the two governments has been prepared and sent to the Indian High Commission in Mozambique.
"We need to expedite the signing of this MoU as soon as possible," Moily said after the meeting.
"We have invited Mr. Moily and the Indian ministerial delegation for the formal signing of this MoU, to document this government-to-government cooperation," Bias said.
According to an official statement, Moily urged the Mozambique minister to expedite the consortium related issues and also fast-track the development of the discovered assets in Mozambique's Rovuma Basin. Indian companies hold 30 percent of the project, the operation of which is with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.
With state-run explorer ONGC and Oil India recently bagging a 20 percent stake in the block along with the 10 percent stake already held by Bharat Petro Resources Limited (BPRL), India has become the second-largest shareholder after Anadarko.
Rovuma Area-1 Offshore Block holds an estimated recoverable reserves of 35-65 trillion cubic ft (tcf) of gas. This discovery could make Mozambique the second-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in the world after Qatar.
The first cargo of gas will be commercially available in 2018.
Among the Indian companies with whom the consortium is holding discussions are BPCL, Petronet LNG and GAIL.