Interview with Monica Chamussa-Juvane, ENH, Mozambique – Innovators in Geoscience Series

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Bringing together diverse experiences, geological settings, and teams is a hallmark of today’s professional. Welcome to an interview with Monica Chamussa-Juvane, newly named Director of Exploration for ENH, the Mozambican national oil company headquartered in Maputo, Mozambique

What is your name and your background?

My name is Monica Chamussa - Juvane, married, a mother of two beautiful girls, Aline and Ahira . I am a Mozambican citizen living in Maputo, a city of red acacias. I hold a MSc degree in Energy from BI University – Oslo, a BSc in Geology from Oporto University, Faculty of Science – Portugal. Additionally, I hold a general certificate in operations management from Stavanger University – Norway, in partnership with PETRAD a Norwegian institution which assist developing countries in the design of Polices and Strategies for their Oil & Gas Industry. I have also had the opportunity to join a team of Brazilian researchers, geologists and geophysicist during one-year period, during which I specialized in petroleum geology at NUPETRO – Fundação Gorceix, in Ouro Preto – Belo Horizonte. This is me, in summary.

From subsurface to surface aim tackle the goals towards success <strong>Brasil</strong> – Belo Horizonte caves, 2009
From subsurface to surface aim tackle the goals towards success Brasil – Belo Horizonte caves, 2009
How did you get interested in analytics?

With almost nine (9) years of first-hand professional experience dealing with data, it has offered challenges, as well as opportunities to develop a critical space for me to search for possible solutions for data processing, In this whole process it must be taken into consideration, that I am inserted in an African context. One in which most of the data, whether from the O&G industry or general data treatment and analytics, is classified yet has many flaws. My background its Geology not statistics, but my role and responsibilities require me to have some insights of these statistical tools, in order to understand and analyse large amount of data. As well as knowledge of the collection and compilation of data, including processing and evaluation technics for identifying key indices. My curiosity and interest did challenge me, to actively improve my knowledge base and consequently I applied for the Master's degree, that strengthened my understanding of the business aspect of the energy sector and not just the material science aspect of O&G. This has enabled a better understanding of the energy sector, commercial value chain., to the generation of electricity, including the implementation of policies, strategies, commercial area and marketing, including renewable energies, without neglecting the treatment component of data generated by those industries. During a twelve months secondment in Houston where I was working in interpretations and prospect evaluations, I realize the importance of having a robust Information Technology infrastructure, capable of processing and supporting data analytics team process.

Team meeting before activities commence, Temane Field, Mozambique 2017.
Team meeting before activities commence, Temane Field, Mozambique 2017.
What were some of your formative experiences? Who has influenced you over the years?

The first influencer was my father he was the only one who agreed with me to proceed on my career path. My parents were very supportive of the educational aspirations of my siblings and myself, with all the resources they had at their disposal. Despite this positive disposition of promoting the aspirations of their children irrespective of gender, most family members and friends were sceptical about Geology being a career for a woman. Along the way, since my father passed away, one year before my entry into the university, I had to deal with my dreams alone.

My formative experiences are the result of the Mozambique government human capital training in order to get more Mozambicans involvement in tackling the challenges in the nascent oil and gas sector. Portuguese-speaking countries such as Mozambique, are part of the countries called PALOP these countries at the time I graduated, had basic Geology as background subjects and I had option of adding the technology side for my specialization with includes a tiny part of Petroleum Geology. During my career working as petroleum geologist at ENH – Empresa Moçambicama de Hidrocarbonetos, I got the opportunity to participate in different training courses to better perform seismic interpretation, I went to Brasil for a one year study of Petroleum Geology, including operational activities involving field trips, to the data interpretation in the office.

At one of the field operations site, Gas well test production onshore, Temane Field, South of Mozambique 2017.
At one of the field operations site, Gas well test production onshore, Temane Field, South of Mozambique 2017.

Back from Brazil, I continued at the ENH Geology department as basin evaluation Geologist for about two years after which I moved to Houston for a one-year period, working as secondee with Anadarko, with whom ENH was in a PPP together on Rovuma Basin. This was the period of January 2012, when the mains Deepwater’s gas sand reservoirs were maturing and the operator was preparing the field development plans, assessing next steps for continuity of the giant gas fields, plus testing. Most of the job was done in Anadarko’s office in Houston where myself and other three colleagues joined the very experience Anadarko team. This period further reinforced in me the appreciation and understanding that technology and innovation is an imperative for the development the country. Back to Mozambique in the end of 2012 we continue to map, evaluate and monitoring the project but this time working on Data management until today.

I also had the opportunity to work with the Statoil team, with respect to the concession area, block 2&5, where I was part of the drilling operation geologist team, for the gas discovery well called Cachalote-1, South Rovuma deep-water. Unfortunately, the gas quantities was not of commercial quantity. This working experience was extremely interesting, especially as it was my first time offshore for a total of 28 days. It was also a very unique situation, through the fact that there where only three women which one of them was me, in a universe of more than fifty men. During meal time at the cafeteria, most of the rig crew looked at us with doubtful expression om their faces, on whether she could really be working here. It was strange for them to see African woman working in that kind of environment, but it was an exhilarating experience to have had this opportunity. One of the oil rig crew asked me, what I was doing on the rig and who was taking care of my daughter, as at the time I was mother of a one year old, but I just laughs and proceed to the meal queue. From the first time I started my career I realize that the O&G industry is very male gender stereotypical, but I dealt with this aspect normally even though I have faced some constrains when it comes to field work.

1st Stand for STEM, Mozambique Gas Summit 201
1st Stand for STEM, Mozambique Gas Summit 201

After finishing my studies and joining the O&G sector, I have been fortunate to have some mentors within the ENH management, equally I have received encouragement from some stakeholders whom I have had the opportunity to interact within the oil & gas value chain.

I endeavour to learn from all situations and opportunities, including from the school of life with its challenges and through my professional career path way. My mentors have come from a wide background because the oil & gas Industry cuts across nationalities, race and culture. Thus, I feel like a global citizen in some way, especially because of the knowledge which I have been able to gain from my mentors.

I have collaborated with some universities on the reformulation of their programmes in order to adapt them to the new reality of training and human capacity building.

To actualise this goal, I have used the networks that I have acquire during these 12 years within the oil & gas industry and academic and research institutions, who have been in alliance and / or partnership with the industry.

AAPG ICE, Cape Town 2018 – ENH Presentation:  “Mozambique Gas discoveries as drive motor for the economy” (Speaker Monica Juvane, Dr. Susan Nash, AAPG Director of Technology and, Co-speaker Rudencio Morais)
AAPG ICE, Cape Town 2018 – ENH Presentation: “Mozambique Gas discoveries as drive motor for the economy” (Speaker Monica Juvane, Dr. Susan Nash, AAPG Director of Technology and, Co-speaker Rudencio Morais)

As part of the approach, the AAPG conferences has been used as a platform. Last year, we planned AAPG Mozambique GTW, where I was nominated to be the chair of the conference, for which all the teams involved from Africa and Asia have made a lot of efforts toward materializing the objectives of the conference.

Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 challenge, the conference has been postponed to next year, if the situation allows by then.

Through the conferences we aim to promote geoscience and technology for Sub-Saharan Africa region and other emerging countries, by discovering and promoting talented young students and professionals in order to prepare knowledgeable people with the right technical competence for the industry and leverage levels of research in respective countries.

What are some of the insights in analytics that made a difference to you early in your career?
APPEX- AAPG 2019 Conference London, (Monica Juvane Speaker and Denise Cox, AAPG Former President)
APPEX- AAPG 2019 Conference London, (Monica Juvane Speaker and Denise Cox, AAPG Former President)
My insigths in analytics came when I stated work with huge amount of data coming from the operations in the Rovuma Basin, North of Mozambique, in 2010. It was the start point of data acquisitions for the onshore and Onshore blocks. The peak was between 2012 to 2013, where we realize that we must improve our data management and governance. At that time, there were some software’s, but not as advanced compare to what we have today. Equally, at university we just learned about the basics of Geology and not explorations. Neither did we have exposure to the production software’s that helped an easier understanding of the field. At the time, we only had access to paper for the interpretation of seismic lines without any additional functionality into getting an understanding about the outcomes from the data. With today’s technological revolution, in data analytics and related fields, one can gain an understanding about data in the field with pre-processing data and getting insights of the information required.

Therefore, even though the data is collected in the field, sent to processing centres, they need to be quantified and classified and here is where the confusion lies. Thus technology and innovation revolution, enable Information Technology begin to develop this analytical data tool as well as artificial intelligence, which allows us to not only orderly classified and organize data, but also helps the quicken the decisions making process, through reducing the time wasted for information generation, while providing a competitiveness edge.

What do you think will be exciting about the future of analytics?
Moment of presentation – APPEX 2019 “Mozambique Increase the Value of Gas consumptions and diversify other sectors of the economy”
Moment of presentation – APPEX 2019 “Mozambique Increase the Value of Gas consumptions and diversify other sectors of the economy”

The answer to the question, take me to the technology disruptive scenario, when we compare developed countries versus developing countries. Technological disruptiveness to which I include analytics, will challenge the technology and innovations providers to develop solutions which would enable full picture of the globalization world and identify patterns and segmentation. This would hopefully be making the playing field more equitable for most stakeholders, in terms of access to information, irrespective of stage in development. In today’s world, we know the importance that big data has when it come to the decision-making process. Their positive and negative impact respectively in forecasting the future, from the integrity and precision of the available collected and analysed data.

For Africa, including Mozambique where I am based, Analytics will help the country make better decisions based on data analytics analyses. It should be noted that this process is still in early stages, taking into consideration that technology and innovation is expensive and cannot be easily financed by corporates or even government enterprises /institutions. Hence it is anticipated that the oil & gas industry will facilitate the real time data information and management approach within the country and influence all third-party product and service providers to innovate technological and processes along analytics benchmarks.

One of the indicators of how much importance, analytics would be playing in the future is the populations growth forecast for 2050, where the world need to estimate the amount of food to be produced in order to feed people. In which the expectation would be around 9.8 billion people with Asia and Africa being the major contributors (source: ( In the energy sector the forecast needs adjustment to accommodate the needs of population growth in terms of increased energy consumptions needs and levels.

Fieldtrip: Quartzite outcrop, Chapada Diamantina, Brasil 2009.
Fieldtrip: Quartzite outcrop, Chapada Diamantina, Brasil 2009.

Thus the forecast of energy demand and production would enable people know the energy consumption numbers per person, population or country in order to estimate the need for energy. All these aspects are related to analytics in a sense of data will have been produced in real time and it will need processing, quality control, shared distribution and storage. Thus, without analytics, we will end up with big issues related to managing massive and big voluminous data quantity.

A practical side of big data treatment is done using IoT, which has revolutionized the world. This technology is being used to manage rapid data and smart data processing. Alongside the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which are technologies that were created and developed recently.

This new era of technology development has helped by being placed on platform on easy-to-use hardware and software/Apps, for anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Using this approach in my opinion could be a leapfrog solution for developing countries, by concentrating on young talented people, support the improvement their ideas to technological proficiency and commercial viability. Certainly, this vison as a mid to long term objective, could help develop these resources for countries thought their own engineers, including hardware and software specialist, to improve and monitor data processing, from the industrial sector to population daily activities and needs.

Today the IoT enable data treatment in a very modern way, using technology the results are wide ranging from greater safety, reduced data loss from the field to the storage.

IoT brought a powerful platform to access data for anyone that contributes to transparency and smart data treatment using data-base intervention, for field data acquisitions, processing and storage.

Hence, Artificial intelligence (AI) and BIG DATA, would come to solve a significant portion of the worldwide data concerns related to acquisition, process and preparation, as well as governance. According to Nick Ismail, access to data will be the key enabler as artificial intelligence comes of age. Looking to the near future of Mozambique development of the oil and gas sector and other industries that will come on track, I see the urgency of involvement of youths including girls in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. To reach this goal we must invest more resources, to attract more girls so that we can close the gender gap in the occupational disciplines where most of position are occupied by men.

With a higher interest in having a better and knowledgeable world, there has to be a commitment to teach, support and educate our young girls to get interested in STEM.

With such a commitment, it is projected that within twenty to thirty years, a great change in Africa countries will occur, with the leveraging of the broad capabilities and dispositions of young learners, for a rapid transformation and change on the continent.

The diversity of Africa needs an alignment of social and economic value chains, together with policy and strategy implementation to reduce poverty, build infrastructure. As well as an increased investment in technology, in order to create self-dependency and win the fight to mitigate the effect of climate change. The technology era that extend beyond national borders pose unprecedented challenges, requiring countries to work together in new ways to leverage the industries and balance the economy. To meet these challenges, African countries must now commence to implement new teaching program approaches, which have to take into consideration different stages such us: Identification of social gaps related to the educations, identification of potential solutions, decision make process, develop in country functional STEM initiatives, test and evaluate the solutions and finally evaluate and monitoring the results.

Please recommend a few books that you enjoyed.
  1. BIBLE - For the obvious reasons – Teaches about the past to understand the present and forecast the future.
  2. Stephen Covey - THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE it is a powerful lesson on personal change. It focuses on self-mastery and moving from dependence to independence by striving to develop teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills, and moving from independence to interdependence in performance, through shared ideas.
  3. Keith Ferrazzi - NEVER EAT ALONE – Relates to the way to sow in good soil with people relationship and use the network to empower our life journey - so that everyone wins;
  4. Dambissa Moyo – DEAD AID – Shows that right polices and education is far better than giving aid. It´s a powerful challenge to the assumptions and arguments that support a profoundly misguided development policy in Africa based on aid.
  5. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson - WHY NATIONS FAILS - is a sweeping attempt to explain the gut-wrenching poverty that leaves 1.29 billion people in the developing world. The authors try to answer Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine.
  6. Foreword by President Barack Obama - CONVERSATIONS WITH MYSELF - Nelson Mandela is one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of recording thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has opened his personal archive, which offers unprecedented insight into his remarkable autobiography.

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