Global Oil & Gas: LNG developers figure on debt crisis list

Rovuma gas basin, Offshore Mozambique (image by Anadarko)

Aspiring LNG exporters Mozambique and Cyprus, plus nations like Dominican Republic, Ghana, Greece and Pakistan seeking to expand, or develop new, LNG import facilities are among the 27 countries across the world in debt crisis, according to new data released for World Debt Day May 16.

The figures, calculated by the UK-based Jubilee Debt Campaign, classify countries as in debt crisis if they have a large financial imbalance with the rest of the world and large government payments on external debt, as a proportion of revenue.

A further 80 countries are at risk of falling into debt crisis – including Angola, where the state oil company (and Angola LNG partner) Sonangol nixed a $1.75bn deal last year because of liquidity issues, El Salvador which is building a newbuild LNG/power project, and Honduras soon to follow suit. Morocco, which is tendering for a giant power/LNG import complex, is also on the ‘at risk’ list.

In 2015 Jubilee Debt Campaign spotted the high risk in Mozambique which was missed by the IMF, which evaluated the country as at moderate risk that year. The IMF later acknowledged the scale of the ‘hidden debt’ scandal in Mozambique’s public finances – and its debt increased steeply last year. A final investment decision for the already deferred Eni-led $8bn Coral floating LNG project has been delayed since 2016 in part due to financing issues.(Source: by Mark Smedley, at Natural Gas World)

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