About 70 per cent of the potential natural gas reserves in the Rovuma Basin, in the far north of Mozambique, have yet to be explored, according to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Max Tonela.
Speaking on Wednesday in Maputo at the Africa-United States Business Summit, Tonela said that the three large scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects already announced, by the US companies ExxonMobil and Anadarko and by ENI of Italy, account for no more than 30 per cent of the potential of the basin.
Additional plans could therefore be presented for those parts of the basin not covered by the contracts signed by the three companies with the government.
The first project that will produce LNG is that of the consortium headed by ENI in Area Four of the Basin, which intends to install a floating LNG platform above the Coral South gas field. The floating platform is under construction in South Korea.
The Final Investment Decision for the ENI project was taken in June 2017. The investment is estimated at eight billion dollars, and it should produce 3.3 million tonnes of LNG a year as from 2022.
The Anadarko-led consortium in Rovuma Basin Area One plans to invest on a much larger scale in two LNG factories on land, in the Afungi Peninsula, in Palma district. The Final Investment Decision was signed on Tuesday, envisaging investment in the order of 25 billion dollars. These plants are due to start commercial operations in 2025, with the capacity to produce 12.8 million tonnes of LNG a year.
Tonela recalled that the development plan for the project led by ExxonMobil (also using resources from Area Four) was approved by the government in May, and no Final Investment Decision has yet been taken. Total investment is expected by be 23 billion dollars, in more land-based LNG plants, producing 15.2 million tonnes of LNG a year.
The known Rovuma Basin gas reserves were discovered between 2010 and 2013. Tonela said the government has been promoting research into new fields with gas potential.
Tenders were held last year, he added. He expected drilling to begin in 2020, since this year the companies are mobilising resources, an undertaking preliminary studies, particularly environmental impact studies.
Source: AIM via Club of Mozambique