The Council of Ministers of Mozambique ratified a series of documents formalising the changes made to the Area 1 natural gas exploration project in the Rovuma basin, since oil company Total took the lead of the project, in September 2019.
The approval clarifies “aspects of development, ownership, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the project, namely recognizing the entry of Total as a concessionaire and operator to replace Anadarko”, explained Filimão Suaze, spokesman for the ministerial meeting.
“Modifications to the installed capacity, as well as updates to the financing of the project” were also ratified.
The approved documents include the complementary agreement for Area 1, the addition to the project financing agreement and the addendum to the development plan.
These are the basic documents of the project, which maintains the key characteristics: 18 underwater wells, an area of land implantation of 6,800 hectares and two industrial units for gas liquefaction with a nominal capacity of 13.12 million tons per year (mtpa).
Total has led the Area 1 consortium since September 2019 with a 26.5% stake, alongside the Japanese Mitsui (20%) and the Mozambican state oil company ENH (15%), with the remaining shares being held by the Indian ONGC Videsh (10 %) and its subsidiary Beas (10%), Bharat Petro Resources (10%), and Thai PTTEP (8.5%).
At the end of 2020, armed attacks by insurgents have brought instability to Cabo Delgado, closing in on the perimeter of works on the Afungi peninsula, forcing Total to reduce the personnel until it reinforces security conditions – a topic that has been dealt with with the Mozambican state.
However, despite the threats, the company has maintained the 2024 deadline for the start of production of liquefied natural gas, in what is the largest private investment underway in Africa.