Anadarko Petroleum’s personnel at a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in northern Mozambique have been temporarily placed under ‘lock-down’ due to safety reasons, following Islamist militant attacks in the area, a regional security consultant told Reuters on Tuesday.
The U.S. oil company Anadarko is developing the Mozambique LNG plant on the coast in the Cabo Delgado province, where a suspected unknown Islamist militant group has been terrorizing civilians in recent months.
Anadarko has prevented its employees from going beyond the perimeter of the planned LNG plant, the security consultant told Reuters, adding that “they can’t leave the site.”
Last month, Anadarko was said to be looking to raise between US$14 billion and US$15 billion from banks and credit export agencies for the huge LNG project which is still waiting for a final investment decision (FID).
Last week, Anadarko signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) for long-term LNG supply with Japan’s Tokyo Gas Co, Ltd and with UK’s Centrica, which takes the Anadarko-led Mozambique LNG one step closer to FID, as this HOA is “a significant portion of the marketing off-take target we have set for FID,” said Mitch Ingram, Anadarko Executive Vice President, International, Deepwater & Exploration.
Now the security situation in northern Mozambique looks very uncertain.
According to a press statement by Human Rights Watch on Monday, the wave of violence in the Cabo Delgado province began in October last year. “Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado have killed at least 39 people and displaced more than 1,000 since May 2018,” HRW said.
The group implicated in the attacks on civilians is known locally as both Al-Sunna wa Jama’a and Al-Shabab, though it has no publicly known connection with the Somali group of the same name, HRW said. Local activists told Human Rights Watch that more than 400 homes had been burned down in the past two weeks, displacing people in three districts. By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com