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Mozambique Signs Pact With Oil Major Total To Boost Security At LNG Project

France's Total has signed a pact with the government of Mozambique to bolster security for a US$20-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) development the energy group leads in the African country, which has seen renewed militant attacks in recent weeks.

A terrorist organization affiliated with Islamic State has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks in Mozambique over the past months, including in the Cabo Delgado province, which is home to the LNG project Total is developing.

The Mozambique LNG Project, for which the US$20-billion Final Investment Decision (FDI) was taken in 2019, is on track to deliver LNG in 2024, Total says.

In June, gunmen killed eight workers from a firm subcontracted by Total to work on its LNG project in Mozambique, yet Total is not giving up on the project, nor are other companies.

The security pact between Total and the Mozambique government "bolsters security measures and endeavours to create a safe operating environment for partners like Total which enables their ongoing investment in Mozambican industry," Ernesto Elias Tonela, Mozambique's minister of mineral resources and energy, said in the statement as carried by Reuters.

Last month, Total secured as much as US$16 billion in funding for its LNG project in Mozambique despite the supply glut and demand decline in the LNG market.

The considerable financing agreement "shows continued progress on project implementation despite security challenges and lower medium-term hydrocarbon prices, raising the prospect of significant positive effects on Mozambique's growth and public finances in the longer run," Fitch Rating said after Total secured the funding.

While Total secured financing for its project, U.S. supermajor ExxonMobil delayed the FID on its US$30-billion LNG project Rovuma to next year, due to low commodity prices and Exxon's need to cut investments globally. This will delay the start of production by one or two years, to around 2025-2026, Fitch says.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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