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Gas Investor Alert: Trouble in Mozambique

Bottom Line: Investors should be on the alert over the increasing momentum of a militant insurgency that could threaten coal and gas investments in Mozambique.

Analysis:  At a time when the gas game is heating up in Mozambique, and key players like Anadarko, Eni and Sasol are raising the stakes in a massive planned offshore gas project, the militant wing of RENAMO (which is an official opposition party) is gaining momentum. Clashes are erupting with greater frequency between Mozambique’s ruling party and former civil war opponents organized under the grouping of RENAMO. A shaky peace agreement has been in place since 1992 between the two sides, but RENAMO officially renounced the agreement on 21 October in response to a security force raid on its headquarters in Sathunjira. Tensions between Renamo and the Frelimo-led government started escalating last year, after the group's leader Dhlakama set up camp in the Gorongosa mountains to retrain former guerrilla fighters.

Over the past year, attacks by RENAMO have been sporadic, but the past two weeks have seen a turn for the worse. The worsening security situation comes as Anadarko negotiates with potential buyers for its offshore gas project and plans to ship its first LNG from Mozambique by 2018. By the end of the year, Anadarko will have invested some $3 billion in developing its discoveries offshore Mozambique. Anadarko will have four liquefaction plants or trains to start with, and is eyeing the construction…

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