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Mozambique: ExxonMobil Rovuma FID on course

Mozambique’s National Petroleum Institute is expecting Exxon Mobil’s final investment decision[ FID)  on a $30 billion prolific Rovuma gas project north of the country in 2021, the country recently proclaimed, but this speculation was allegedly dismissed by the company.

“The final investment decision of the Rovuma LNG project has been postponed to, in principle, next year,” the institute’s Chairman Carlos Zacarias told journalists, referring to the Exxon-led project in the gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado.

However, an Exxon spokesman referred to the comments as “third-party speculation”, adding that “Rovuma LNG is a complex project that will take several years to develop”.

He said the decision would not be made this year but declined to comment on when it would.

The oil giant’s decision on the project, which had been expected this year, was postponed in March as the coronavirus outbreak and an oil price slump forced companies to delay projects and cut spending.

Exxon did not say when it planned to make a call on the project.

Other big oil companies, including France’s Total and Italy’s Eni, are also involved in projects in the region, home to one of the biggest gas finds in a decade.

The projects have the potential to transform the economy of Mozambique, one of the world’s least developed nations. But apart from the coronavirus, the projects are complicated by militant Islamists in the province with links to Islamic State.

Recently there is speculation that South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has provided $15 billion as its part of a consortium of banks financial lending. This being part funding for French energy major Total’s Mozambique liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. Sources told Reuters that Total had secured $14.4 billion in funding for the project with a group of about 20 lenders.

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