Rosneft and partner ExxonMobil have won the rights for three hydrocarbon blocks in Mozambique, as the African nation aims to join leading global liquefied natural gas exporters, the Russian company said on Thursday. (official press release)
The announcement comes as Rosneft, the world’s top listed oil producer by output, is under western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. Sanctions limit its ability to raise western funds and harm cooperation on new technology in Russia.
The deal shows that the Kremlin-controlled company is still aspiring for global cooperation despite the chill with the West.
Rosneft, whose CEO Igor Sechin started his career as a Portuguese translator, and Exxon were awarded three contract areas: A5-B in the Angoche Basin as well as Z5-C and Z5-D in the Zambezi Delta in a former Portuguese colony of Mozambique.
“The global partnership of Rosneft and ExxonMobil is of a strategic nature. The companies have a proven track record of highly successful cooperation internationally and at the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia,” Rosneft said.
Italy’s Eni and U.S. firm Anadarko Petroleum Corp are already developing multi-billion-dollar LNG export projects in Mozambique.
Exxon is expected to be an operator for the projects.
Gas discovered off the coast of Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest countries, offers an opportunity to transform the country which was ravaged by a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992.
The Anadarco and Eni LNG projects could bring more than $30 billion in investment and make Mozambique one of the world’s top LNG exporters. First exports are planned for 2018.
Exxon suspended cooperation with Rosneft on Russia’s Arctic Kara Sea following sanctions. They continue to work on the Sakhalin 1 oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East.