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US group ExxonMobil has acquired a stake in the operator of Mozambique’s northern Area Block 4, where its partners are Italian group ENI (35.7%) and the China National Petroleum Corporation (28.6%).
The acquisition of a stake in ENI East Africa, which owns 70% of the consortium that operates the block in the Rovuma basin, was authorised on 5 September by the Mozambican government, which at a Council of Ministers meeting, approved the amendment to the concession contract.
The remaining 30% of the consortium is divided equally between Portuguese group Galp Energia, South Korea’s Kogas and Mozambican state-owned company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH).
The Minister of Mineral Resources Leticia Klemens said in announcing the decision that the US group “has great technical capacity, particularly in gas extraction and liquefaction operations, and it also has financial strength.”
The approval of the sale of a 35.7% stake in ENI East Africa for US$2.8 billion in cash will yield the Mozambican state a tax revenue of US$354.4 million, as a result of capital gains tax.
The Mozambican government last month signed contracts authorising the construction of the LNG terminal and the materials unloading port on the Afungi peninsula (Palma district) by Anadarko Petroleum (Area 1) and ENI (Area 4).
The project, known as Mozambique LNG, involves a US$20 billion investment in a joint natural gas processing and storage unit in the Prosperidade (Area 1) and Mamba (Area 4) fields.
The Africa Monitor Intelligence newsletter reported that the government had decided to accelerate the projects in Cabo Delgado and approved the conditions for the implementation of the LNG maritime terminal and the facilities that will serve as an unloading port for construction of the LNG transformation and distribution unit.
The start of the infrastructure construction project also depends on signing a final investment decision (FID) between the Anadarko Petroleum group and ENI East Africa on one side and the government on the other, which is expected to happen as early as 2018, according to Africa Monitor.