Out of Africa (and Elsewhere): More Fossil Fuels

Out of Africa (and Elsewhere): More Fossil Fuels

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Until recently, the East African country of Mozambique was better known for its long civil war, and had few energy resources compared with regional heavy-hitters like Nigeria and Angola. But in the last 10 years, companies like Exxon Mobil, the BG Group of Britain and Eni of Italy have used the latest technologies, including advances in deep-sea drilling, to find new natural gas resources that are turning Mozambique into the center of an energy boom.

Up and down the country’s shoreline, Western energy companies, as well as a number of Asian competitors, are drilling wells thousands of feet below the Indian Ocean in hopes of striking it rich. The rewards could be huge. Mozambique may have more deposits of natural gas — used in everything from manufacturing to electricity generation — than the European energy giant Norway. The East African country is not alone in its newfound energy wealth. Countries like Tanzania and Kenya also are attracting billions of dollars in investment from the world’s largest energy companies as they search for new oil and gas reserves.

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