MAPUTO– American oil and gas company Anadarko Petroleum says it has received official approval from the Mozambican government for the development of the Golfinho/Atum natural gas fields in Rovuma Basin Area One, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

An Anadarko media statement says the development plan for these fields outlines the integrated onshore project from the reservoir to the LNG (liquefied natural gas) market and is a culmination of the substantial progress made so far on the technical and commercial aspects of the Anadarko-operated Mozambique LNG development.

“We appreciate the support of the Government of Mozambique and are very pleased to achieve this critical milestone providing a further indication of the tremendous progress we continue to make on the project, which will position Mozambique as a strategic global LNG supplier,” the statement quotes Mitch Ingram, the Anadarko Executive Vice-President for International and Deep-water Operations and Project Management, as saying.

“The approval of the Development Plan continues advancement toward a Final Investment Decision as it builds upon other recent achievements, including the announcement of our long-term SPA (Sale and Purchase Agreement) with EDF (Electricite De France, the buyer of the LNG), commencement of resettlement (of affected local residents), and our ongoing work to secure project financing.”

Anadarko and its partners have agreed to supply EDF with 1.2 million tonnes of LNG a year for a period of 15 years.

Anadarko is the operator of Offshore Area One through its wholly owned subsidiary, Anadarko Mocambique Area One Ltd. Anadarko has a 26.5 per cent stake in Area One. Its partners in the consortium are Mitsui of Japan (20 per cent), the Indian companies ONG Videsh, Beas Rovuma Energy, and BRPL Ventures Mozambique (each with 10 per cent), PTTEP of Thailand (8.5 per cent), and Mozambique’s own National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH), with the remaining 15 per cent.

The Anadarko project will be Mozambique first onshore LNG development. It will initially consisting of two LNG trains to be built on the Afungi Peninsula in Palma, the northernmost district of Cabo Delgado. The two trains will have capacity to produce 12.88 million tonnes a year of LNG.

The gas will come from the Golfinho/Atum fields which are located entirely within Area One. The statement says that this foundational project paves the way for significant future expansion of up to 50 million tonnes a year from Offshore Area 1.

It adds that the Golfinho/Atum fields will also supply initial volumes of approximately 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day for domestic use in Mozambique.

Anadarko will not be the first company to produce LNG from the Rovuma Area. The consortium operating Offshore Area Four of the basin, headed by the Italian energy company, ENI, has opted to build a floating LNG unit which will sit on a platform above the Coral South Field, and it is expected to produce its first LNG by 2022.