Malawi’s new oil and natural gas laws debate resumes; revised policy ready November

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Malawi in the past week revamped the debate to have the new law that guides the extractive industry particularly on oil and natural gas.

This comes as the country is using outdated 1983 Petroleum Act, which is not meeting the current needs in the sector.

The release of the revised Petroleum Policy, though delayed, is now expected to take place in November this year.

Some 60% of designated acreage, divided into six blocks, lies on land adjacent to Lake Malawi, with several already allocated under regulations promulgated in 2009.

South Africa-based SacOil Vice President Jordaan Fouche, told a mining conference in the capital Lilongwe that his company is considering further investment upon the renewal of block-1, located entirely onshore abutting the northern border with Tanzania.

Other players in Malawi include Emirates-based Hamra Holdings and RakGas, UK-based Surestream Petroleum and Singapore’s Pacific Oil & Gas.

In his remarks, a Mr. Chiwambo, an oil and gas expert in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, said the time was ripe for Malawi to explore more opportunities in the extractive industry.

The development comes barely two months after the country launched the much-awaited Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) report in July this year.

The report, which is the first of its kind in Malawi, aims to attain world-compliant status in the extractive industry with focus on the management of mining, oil, forestry, and gas extractive products.

The study covers payments by extractive companies, revenues received by government entities, and other material payments between July 2014 and June 30, 2015.

Malawi is also currently reviewing its mines and mineral laws that is designed to regulate the development of mineral resources of Malawi through adherence to sustainable development.

Source: Maravi Post

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