TABJ – The Mozambican parliament has passed the first reading of a bill amending the country’s law on petroleum and gas, intended “to make the legal framework more predictable and transparent for investors”.

The government bill seeks to convert matters that had previously been in contracts signed between the government and hydrocarbon companies into rights and obligations regulated by law.

The bill reiterates that all petroleum and gas resources are state-owned property, and the state has the right to participate in all hydrocarbon operations at any phase.

Petroleum and gas operations must be undertaken through a concession contract that may result from a public tender, or negotiations between the company and the government.

Introducing the bill, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Esperanca Bias, stressed that it is obligatory to publish all concession contracts.