NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at African Energy Chamber, wrote in a press release that if violence continues to prevent oil company Total from resuming work, Eni and Exxon may rethink their own projects.
“Total and its partners have already devoted a great deal of time, effort, and money to the establishment of an onshore base and liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the Afungi Peninsula.
This complex, which is just a few kilometers away from Palma, will support upstream development work at the offshore block known as Area 1. It isn’t yet complete, though. If it can’t be finished, Total will have a hard time proceeding with its US20 billion Mozambique LNG project — and Eni and ExxonMobil will have a hard time following suit with their own South Coral LNG and Rovuma LNG projects.”
He stressed the seriousness of the current situation, by pointing out that “This is a real threat, given that Total had to suspend work and evacuated energy workers from the construction site in January, following a series of attacks near Palma in December. Indeed, it’s worth noting that the attack on Palma occurred shortly after reports emerged that Total was preparing to bring workers back before the end of March.”
NJ Ayuk explained he has visited Cabo Delgado with the help of the President of Mozambique recently, and share his own personal experiences on the field:
“Thanks to the support and encouragement from President Filipe Nyusi, his government and the governor of Cabo Delgado. I went to Cabo Delgado. The President and Mozambican officials ensured my delegation had complete and unfettered access to the region. Even during the attacks, I still had a team in Cabo Delgado. I’ve seen this suffering firsthand. I paid a visit to a refugee camp in the region. I talked to people who have been hurt, who have seen their family members slaughtered by ASWJ fighters. I met children, some of them as young as 8 or 9 years old, who have been assaulted by terrorists.
But the threat to Mozambique isn’t just about gas. It isn’t just about money or security or power or territorial integrity.
It’s also about people. Human beings.”
In his opinion, aid from the United States and Portugal, from a military point of view, is not going to be enough, and reiterates that “even though Mozambique’s government is committed to doing everything it can to bring real peace and stability to Cabo Delgado, it needs more support than it is currently getting. It will need ongoing support from the international community — not just in response to the most recent attacks, but for the long haul.”
The province of Cabo Delgado, in the north of Mozambique, has been the target of terrorist attacks for about three years and the last one happened on the 24th, in Palma, in which dozens of civilians were killed, according to the Mozambican Ministry of Defense.
The violence is causing a humanitarian crisis with almost 700 thousand displaced people, according to UN agencies. The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attacks on Monday.