- The French oil and gas company Total has insisted that its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado is on track, despite attacks by islamist terrorists in the area.
Speaking at a Paris press conference earlier this week, the Total Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Pouyanne said the company has reached an agreement with the Mozambican government over securing the area where the gas liquefaction plants are to be built.
This area is in the Afungi peninsula in Palma district, where a consortium headed by Total expects to invest over 25 billion US dollars, which will be the largest foreign investment ever in Mozambique and Africa.
A shoot-out with terrorists in the resettlement town of Quitunda, in the peninsula, on 1 January, triggered a decision by Total to withdraw temporarily many of its workers from Afungi. Nonetheless, Pouyanne told the Total shareholders he was confident that production of LNG will start, as planned, in 2024. Read more
“It’s not because we stop for two or three months that we can’t reach the 2024 target,” he said. While onshore work is suspended, engineering is quickly progressing and offshore work continues”.
There should be up to 10,000 workers at Afungi, but Pouyanne admitted that, after the evacuation, less than 1,000 are in place. Read more
It was the Mozambican government’s responsibility to secure the area, Pouyanne said. An action plan had been drawn up on the deployment of forces, he added, and an agreement had been reached with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi to control a perimeter of at least 25 kilometres. Ultimately the whole of Cabo Delgado province should be secured.
On Tuesday, Total also presented record losses of 7.242 billion US dollars. Total blames this collapse on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the fall in the international oil price. The company claims it is switching away from oil and towards LNG and renewable energies. Link to Total’s 2020 results presentation HERE
Total E&P Mozambique Area 1, Limitada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Total, operates the Mozambique LNG project, in Area One of the Rovuma Basin, with a holding of 26.5 per cent. The other members of the consortium are Mitsui of Japan (20 per cent), PTTEP of Thailand (8.5 per cent), the Indian companies ONGC Videsh Rovuma Limited., Beas Rovuma Energy Mozambique Limited and BPRL Ventures Mozambique B.V. (10 per cent each) and Mozambique’s own National Hydrocarbon Company, ENH (15 per cent).
Author: Bryan Groenendaal