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The gas revolution

When PTT Exploration & Production, a Thai state-owned energy company, successfully outbid Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB) in a $1.9bn (£1.17bn) takeover of Cove Energy - holder of an 8.5 per cent stake in the highly rated Rovuma 1 block in offshore Mozambique, last year - the deal underlined East Africa's reputation as the globe's most compelling frontier energy destination. Following a number of huge natural gas discoveries off the coasts of Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya, a host of integrated oil majors - along with smaller first-movers - are now active in the region, prompting some analysts to predict that it could eventually supplant Qatar (or more likely Australia) as the preeminent export hub for liquefied natural gas (LNG). Well, anything's possible, but given the paucity of the region's existing infrastructure, any such scenario would be some way off.

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By Mark Robinson,
31 January 2013

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