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Exxon Close To Finalizing Mozambique LNG Decision

Exxon could announce the final investment decision for the Rovuma LNG project in Mozambique tomorrow, according to the African country’s government. Exxon has denied the report, the Globe and Mail said Monday.

Reuters reports quoting a government statement, that the signing ceremony could take place as soon as Tuesday.

Exxon partnered with Italy’s Eni and Chinese CNPC on the $30-billion Rovuma project, which could have a total annual capacity of 15.2 million tons. The Mozambican state energy company will also have a minority take in the project. Production should begin in 2024.

Exxon has stakes in LNG capacity totaling more than 65 million tons per year. Mozambique is a hot spot for LNG hopefuls right now, with the country believed to be home to some of the most abundant natural gas reserves.

Mozambique, for its part, is drawing growing attention as an LNG hot spot. S&P Global Platts reported last December that Mozambique could become the third-largest LNG producer in sub-Saharan Africa in a few years, with total planned capacity to be added standing at 25 million tons per year, as per Wood Mackenzie calculations.

In the country, Exxon’s Rovuma will be a direct competitor to Total’s Mozambique LNG. The French supermajor bought the project from Occidental after its acquisition of Anadarko as part of an $8.8-billion divestment. Total finalized the purchase last month for $3.9 billion.

The Mozambique LNG project will cost an estimated $20 billion and will have an annual capacity of 13 million tons of liquefied natural gas. Like Rovuma, it should go into operation in 2024, with 90 percent of the output already allocated under long-term contracts with buyers in Asia and Europe.

Mozambique’s future as an LNG hub, however, has been under threat: Islamist extremists in the country have been stepping up their activity and earlier this year attacked the Mozambique LNG construction site, killing one worker and injuring several others.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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