Recently, Benedict Peters, a well-known African millionaire and the CEO of Africa’s top independent oil company, Aiteo, purchased a sizeable share in Mozambique’s Mazenga gas block. With this action, Aiteo has strategically expanded its energy holdings into one of the biggest onshore gas blocks in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The fertile sedimentary basin of Mozambique contains the Mazenga block, which covers an area of about 23,000 square kilometers. With an estimated 19 trillion cubic feet of gas in it, it is the region’s largest onshore gas reservoir. Empressa Nacional de Hidocarbonetos (ENH), the state energy company of Mozambique, and Aiteo entered into an agreement and a number of farm-in arrangements as part of Aiteo’s acquisition. Through these agreements, ENH became the block operator.
Following the acquisition, Aiteo launched a massive development initiative. Comprehensive field surveys, aeromagnetic and gravitational geological studies, and the reprocessing and reinterpretation of previously collected data are all included in the program.
Aiteo’s CEO, Peters, stressed the company’s commitment to making large investments in Mozambique’s gas industry. He stated, “The assets we are acquiring sit in what is arguably the most promising gas production region in the country. This project aligns with our strategic goals of engaging in unique energy assets across Africa, enhancing our profile, and growing our global gas resources to become a leading player within the continent. We are committed to developing these assets for the mutual benefit of Mozambique and all stakeholders involved.”
As of 2017, Mozambique had proved gas reserves of over 100 trillion cubic feet, making it a major player in the worldwide gas market. This ranks the nation 14th in the world and represents 1% of the world’s natural gas reserves. Global energy behemoths like Total, ENI, and ExxonMobil’s involvement in the nation highlights Mozambique’s strategic significance in the global energy scene, especially in the market for LNG exports.
Under Peters’ direction, Aiteo has grown to become the biggest domestic oil producer in Africa, accounting for about 5% of Nigeria’s daily oil production at a pace close to 100,000 barrels per day. A noteworthy milestone was the company’s November 2023 introduction of a new crude grade, Nembe, via a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Nembe satisfies the strict specifications of major European buyers thanks to its low sulphur content and minimal carbon footprint.
Bravura Holdings, a vertically integrated mining conglomerate with holdings in gold, platinum, copper, steel, lithium, and other minerals across Southern, Central, and West Africa, is part of Peters’ corporate empire in addition to Aiteo. He is the biggest Black private miner in the continent thanks to his advantageous mining locations. Among other businesses, he is the proprietor of Joseph Agro Industries, one of the biggest producers of rice in West Africa. Another noteworthy turning point in Peters’ broadening and varied business portfolio is this most recent foray into the gas industry in Mozambique.