From gas to governance: Mozambique’s slippery slope

Map of Mozambique’s gas fields
The vast Rovuma Basin, and especially the Area 4 gas concession to be developed by Eni and Exxon Mobil, is Mozambique’s financial lifeline (macpixxel for GIS)
  • “Gas euphoria” upset Mozambique’s political stability in the early 2010s
  • Corruption, crime and fears of renewed civil war slowed foreign investment
  • Two big gas deals offer a chance to end the drift and rescue the economy

Confirmation that a group led by Italy’s Eni SpA has signed off on an $8 billion project to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin is the best thing that has happened to the East African country for years. The June 1 ceremony, attended by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi, comes only three months after Exxon Mobil Corp. said it will purchase a 25 percent indirect stake in Eni’s Area 4 offshore block for $2.8 billion.

The two energy giants will now team up to develop the field and the LNG plant, which will have a capacity of 3.4 million tons a year. Eni will lead and operate all upstream activities in Area 4, including the Coral South floating LNG project, while ExxonMobil will supervise the construction and operation of natural gas liquefaction facilities onshore.

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