The Mozambican cabinet on Tuesday ratified a series of documents that formalise changes to the Area 1 project for natural gas exploration in the Rovuma basin from the entry of oil company Total, signed in September 2019.
The approval will adjust aspects of development, ownership, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the project, specifically recognising the entry of Total as concessionaire and operator in place of Anadarko, said Filimão Suaze, spokesman for the ministerial meeting.
Modifications to the installed capacity are also ratified and incorporate updates to the project’s financing.
The documents include the complementary agreement regarding Area 1, the addendum to the project’s financing agreement, and the development plan’s addendum.
They are the base documents for the project, which maintains the key characteristics: 18 subsea wells, an onshore deployment area of 6,800 hectares and two gas liquefaction plants with a nominal capacity of 13.12 million tonnes per year (mtpa).
Total has led the Area 1 consortium since September 2019 with a 26.5% stake, alongside Japan’s Mitsui (20%) and Mozambique’s state-owned oil company ENH (15%), with the remaining stakes going to India’s ONGC Videsh (10%) and its subsidiary Beas (10%), Bharat Petro Resources (10%), and Thailand’s PTTEP (8.5%).
In late 2020, armed attacks by rebels that have been terrorising Cabo Delgado came closer to the perimeter of works on the Afungi peninsula, forcing Total to reduce staff until security conditions improve – a topic that has been addressed with the Mozambican state.
However, despite the threats, the company has maintained its deadline of 2024 to start production of liquefied natural gas, in what is the largest private investment underway in Africa.