Benedict Peters, a prominent African billionaire and CEO of Aiteo, Africa’s leading oil independent, has recently acquired a significant stake in the Mazenga gas block in Mozambique. This move marks a strategic expansion of Aiteo’s energy interests into one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest onshore gas blocks.
The Mazenga block, situated in Mozambique’s fertile sedimentary basin, spans approximately 23,000 square kilometers. It boasts an estimated 19 trillion cubic feet of gas, positioning it as the largest onshore gas reserve in the region. Aiteo’s acquisition involved an agreement and a series of farm-in arrangements with Mozambique’s state energy company, Empressa Nacional de Hidocarbonetos (ENH), through which it has become the operator of the block.
In response to the acquisition, Aiteo has initiated an ambitious development program. The program includes aeromagnetic and gravitational geological studies, comprehensive field surveys, and the reinterpretation and reprocessing of existing data.
Peters, the CEO of Aiteo, emphasized the company’s determination to invest significantly in Mozambique’s gas sector. 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.”
Mozambique is a significant player in the global gas market, holding about 100 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves as of 2017. This places the country 14th worldwide and accounts for approximately one percent of the global natural gas reserves. The presence of international energy giants like Total, ENI, and ExxonMobil in the country underscores the strategic importance of Mozambique in the international energy landscape, particularly in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market.
Aiteo, under Peters’ leadership, has established itself as Africa’s largest indigenous oil producer, contributing more than five percent of Nigeria’s daily oil output with a production rate nearing 100,000 barrels per day. In a notable development, the company launched a new crude grade, Nembe, in November 2023, through a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Nembe is distinguished by its low sulphur content and reduced carbon footprint, adhering to the stringent requirements of major European buyers.
Beyond Aiteo, Peters’ business empire extends to Bravura Holdings, a vertically integrated mining conglomerate with interests in gold, platinum, copper, steel, lithium, and other minerals across Southern, Central, and West Africa. His strategic mining positions make him the largest private Black miner on the continent. He is also the owner of Joseph Agro Industries, a leading rice producer in West Africa, among other enterprises. This latest venture into Mozambique’s gas sector is another significant milestone in Peters’ diverse and expanding business portfolio.