The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the rescheduling of work related to offshore drilling for gas in northern Mozambique, but 2022 remains the year in which exploitation begins, a source from oil company Eni told Lusa.
“Due to the impact of regulatory and travel restrictions linked to the pandemic situation of Covid-19, drilling activities related to the Coral South natural gas exploitation project in northern Mozambique have been rescheduled, but will resume without affecting the project goals,” an official company said source in response to a request for clarification.
“We are continuously monitoring and reviewing the situation at all construction and manufacturing sites to prevent and minimise the impact of the new coronavirus on the Coral Sul project,” it added.
The extraction, liquefaction and export of natural gas will be accomplished by a floating platform currently under construction in a South Korean shipyard owned by Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI).
Construction is proceeding “as planned, with negligible impacts from Covid-19”.
“Eni and its contractors, in accordance with the South Korean authorities, are following very strict protocols to preserve the health of all personnel involved in the execution activities at the shipyard,” the oil company adds.
The Coral Sul megaproject will be the first of three projects approved for the Rovuma basin, off the coast of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique, to come online, with production capacity of around 3.4 million tons of LNG (liquefied natural gas) per year (mtpa).
According to ENI data, the floating platform will be fed by six seabed wells, sinking of which started in September 2019. The wells will have an average depth of about 3,000 metres and will be anchored about 2,000 m deep in The Indian Ocean,
The construction of all components is taking place in seven work centres around the world.
The Coral Sul area is part of natural gas exploration Area 4, and is operated by Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV), a joint venture jointly owned by ExxonMobil, Eni and CNPC (China), which holds a 70 percent interest in the contract grant.
Galp, KOGAS (South Korea) and the National Hydrocarbon Company (Mozambique) each hold 10% stakes.
Other developments approved for the Rovuma basin in Northern Mozambique include the mega project led by Total oil in Area 1, under construction on the Afungi peninsula, Cabo Delgado, and whose start of exploitation is scheduled for 2024 with a production of 12.88 mtpa.
The third plan also relates to infrastructure in Afungi to receive gas from the Mamba zone of Area 4 (expected production of 15 mtpa), but oil company ExxonMobil has postponed a final investment decision scheduled for this year because of Covid-19 related investment cuts.
Mozambique has 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Globally, according to an AFP balance sheet, the COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 190,000 deaths and infected more than 2.6 million people in 193 countries and territories. More than 708,000 patients were considered cured.
Source: Lusa via Club of Mozambique