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Militants have attacked Anadarko’s LNG project in Mozambique in what is the first attack on the oil and gas industry in the African country, Bloomberg reports, citing Portuguese news agency Lusa and unnamed sources.
More than a dozen masked, armed men attacked a convoy near the project, which is still under construction, and injured four people. The attackers are suspected to be members of an Islamic militant group that has already killed some 100 people in the area near the border with Tanzania in the past 16 month since the insurgency began in northern Mozambique.
The potential implications of the attack are grave as Mozambique is seen to be a hot spot for LNG in the future, with Anadarko’s project alone having a planned annual capacity of 13 million metric tons of liquefied gas. The company has budgeted around US$20 billion for the project.
Last week, the Houston Chronicle reported that Anadarko had announced a long-term purchase commitment for 1 million tons annually from its Mozambique project with Indian Bharat Petroleum, strengthening the project’s chances of getting a final investment decision and moving ahead to construction.
To date, Anadarko has secured commitments for about 8.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually to be shipped from the Mozambican terminal. Other companies who have signed long-term deals to buy LNG from Anadarko include Shell, Centrica, and Tokyo Gas.
However, the militant attack could cast a shadow over the future of the project, not least because it is the first of its kind. Bloomberg cited Mozambique expert Eric Morier-Genoud as saying "It is the first time an oil and gas company is attacked. The attack also shows a change of modus operandi of the insurgents. They were 15 men to attack a convoy and they were all dressed in black. This has never been seen -- numbers, dress code, and an attack on a main road."
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.