Mozambique: Natural gas enters the Rovuma Basin natural gas floating platform - AIM
File photo: Lusa
The natural gas exploitation consortium operating in Area 1 in Mozambique told Lusa on Tuesday that it was working with the relevant authorities to ensure security in the area in the north of the country faced with the threat of armed attacks.
“We are working with the relevant authorities and other stakeholders to provide a safe environment for our workforce and local communities,” a source from the French energy and oil company Total told Lusa.
The same source told Lusa that the company continues to “closely monitor security conditions”. “The safety of our workers and of the contracted companies is an essential value for Total.”
A year ago, at the end of February 2019, vehicles from the consortium (at the time still led by US oil major Anadarko) were attacked and a Mozambican driver killed.
The victim worked for the Portuguese construction company Gabriel Couto and was the first and only person working on the gas processing project on the Afungi peninsula in Palma to fall victim to armed violence in the region.
Although attacks in the immediate vicinity have already led to precautionary work stoppages, Total told Lusa yesterday that the work was “progressing at a good pace and on track to deliver the first shipment of LNG [liquefied natural gas] in 2024”.
The exploitation of natural gas resources off the northern coast of Mozambique has the potential to lift the country out of the group of poorest countries in the world.
While the Area 1 project will extract gas offshore and process it onshore, in the Afungi peninsula, a smaller first exploitation will start in Area 4 in the Rovuma basin in 2022 using a floating platform built by a consortium led by Exxon Mobil and Eni.
Area 4 will also see larger-scale exploitation, but any final investment decision is yet to be announced.
Total investments in gas exploitation off Cabo Delgado represent the largest private investment underway in Africa, the respective consortia announced, with global amounts perhaps totalling US$50 billion.
The province of Cabo Delgado has been the target of attacks by armed groups that international organisations classify as a terrorist threat and that, in two-and-a-half years, have killed at least 350 people, with a further 156,400 people losing property or being forced to abandon their homes and land in search of safety.