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The Future of Mozambique’s Gas Dreams

Italian engineering giant Saipem said April 28 it was working closely with France’s Total to “preserve” the value of Mozambique LNG after Total declared force majeure on the project because of the deterioration in the security situation in the country. Saipem — which leads a consortium that in 2019 was contracted to build the two-train Mozambique LNG project — did not, however, give any guidance on how long the force majeure was likely to stay in effect. Total on April 26 said it had removed all staff from the site and declared force majeure because it was “unable to perform its obligations” given the security situation, which was something “entirely out of Total’s control.” The company added that activity at Mozambique LNG so far this year had mainly been performed “out of site.” Mozambique’s 3.5-year-old Islamist insurgency saw militants close in on the site of the project on the Afungi Peninsula at the end of 2020, culminating in a deadly attack on the town of Palma in late March. Total had hoped to produce the first LNG from the 13.1 million mt/year Mozambique LNG project in 2024; however, with the force majeure declaration, this timeline could be in serious doubt, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.