Exxon Mobil and Italy’s Eni said Tuesday that the Mozambique government had authorized the development of the multibillion-dollar Rovuma liquefied natural gas project.
The Rovuma LNG project aims to process natural gas produced from three offshore reservoirs in East Africa, and then market that LNG around the world.
Exxon Mobil bought half of Eni’s 50 percent stake in the project two years ago for $2.8 billion.
Eni is building the Coral floating LNG project, while Exxon Mobil will lead the construction of an onshore LNG processing and exporting terminal.
“The development plan approval marks another significant step toward a final investment decision later this year,” said Liam Mallon, president of Exxon upstream. “We will continue to work with the government to maximize the long-term benefits this project will bring to the people of Mozambique.”
The Rovuma LNG project is only one of two major LNG projects in Mozambique that are expected to begin major construction later this year. The other is Anadarko Petroleum’s Mozambique LNG project, but Houston’s Occidental Petroleum is in the process of buying Anadarko and, in turn, selling Anadarko’s Africa assets to the French energy major Total for $8.8 billion.
As for the Rovuma LNG effort, Exxon and Eni already have purchasing agreements for the 15 million tons of LNG that would be produced annually by the first two LNG production units, called trains.
Apart from Exxon and Eni, the other project owners include the China National Petroleum Corp., which owns a 20 percent stake, and three others that each own 10 percent: Portugal’s Galp Group, the Korea Gas Corp. and Mozambique’s national energy company.