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Mozambiques President visited Hydro

February 15, 2007, 13:45 CET

Mozambiques President, Armando Emílio Guebuza, and his entourage of around 40 people visited Hydro at Vækerø on Wednesday.

The President had requested a meeting with Hydro during his three-day visit to Norway, and Hydro’s President and CEO Eivind Reiten welcomed him to Vækerø Hovedgård.

Mozambique’s ministers for the country’s Ministry of Fisheries, Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Energy accompanied the President, in addition to a large group of people from the country’s authorities, security staff, and a Mozambican press corps.

In February last year, Hydro signed a contract for exploration and production in two areas of the Rovuma Basin off Mozambique. Hydro is operator, with a 90 per cent ownership stake.

The areas cover 13,402 square kilometres, where water depth varies from shallow to over 2000 metres. Environmental studies are in progress, and the plan is to gather seismic data during the spring of 2007.

Environmental considerations
The exploration area is located near to the coast of Mozambique, and just outside a National Park. In their meeting with Hydro, the guests were keen to make sure that oil production will not conflict with fisheries and tourism.

Eivind Reiten referred to the strict requirements we have for the oil business in Norway. The great emphasis placed on environmental issues has led to Norwegian petroleum activities having very high environmental standards. He also used the drilling of the Nucula well in the Barents Sea as an example.

Opportunities for aluminium production were also discussed, and it was pointed out that access to competitive sources of energy is an important prerequisite for setting up new companies.

At a press conference following the meeting, the President said he was pleased that Hydro wants continued cooperation with Mozambique.

Asked whether or not there is oil in the area concerned, Reiten replied that Hydro is present because it is considered interesting, but no one can currently say if there is recoverable oil or gas until wells have been drilled.