The deal between the two oil groups was closed after many months of talks, but at ExxonMobil’s request will only be announced in several months, the agency indicated, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
According to the report, the deal could give ExxonMobil its desired operating stake in the onshore LNG export plant while Eni would retain control over Mozambique’s Area 4 gas fields feeding it.
The gas reserves already discovered by Eni in Area 4 in the offshore Rovuma basin are large enough to feed a giant land-based LNG export plant. Eni, that is the operator of the Area 4 with a 50 percent stake, has discovered about 85 trillion cubic feet of gas in the offshore block.
The Coral field will remain outside the scope of the deal with ExxonMobil, and Eni has earmarked LNG from the Phase I development of Coral to the UK-based energy giant BP, the report said.
LNG World News has contacted Eni regarding the stake sale. An Eni spokesperson declined to comment.
To remind, the Mozambique government in February approved the plan of development for Eni’s Coral FLNG project. The approval relates to the first phase of development of 5 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Coral discovery, located in the Area 4 permit.
The plan of development, the very first one to be approved in the Rovuma Basin, foresees the drilling and completion of 6 subsea wells and the construction and installation of a floating LNG facility, with the capacity of around 3.4 MTPA.
In 2013 the Italian group sold an indirect 20 percent stake in that bloc to China National Petroleum Corporation for US$4.2 billion. But since then natural gas and oil prices have fallen by more than half.
ExxonMobil nevertheless acquired in 2015 three oil prospecting licences just south of the Area 4 Bloc, where the ENI group has discovered more than 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. According to the agency, this lends a new dimension to the deal now concluded. (Macauhub/MZ)