French oil and natural gas major Total SA could expand the Mozambique liquified natural gas (LNG) project by adding two more production trains, head of Total exploration and production for Nigeria Mike Sangster said on Tuesday.
“We’re starting to look at studies for train 3 and train 4, because the resources are clearly there to develop,” he said at an oil conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
Total finalized its acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum’s 26.5% share in the Mozambique LNG project in September for $3.9 billion as part of its takeover of the company’s assets in Africa, including Algeria, Ghana and South Africa. The project includes the construction of a two train liquefaction plant with a capacity of 12.88 million metric tons/year (mmty). Anadarko sanctioned the project in June.
Mozambique LNG is one of two so-called mega LNG projects that had been seeking sanction in Mozambique for more than four years. The other is ExxonMobil’s Rovuma LNG development, which was expected to reach a final investment decision this year and would have more than 15 mmty of capacity.
Mozambique LNG has an estimated $20 billion price tag and includes the development of the Golfinho and Atum fields located within Offshore Area 1. Area 1 contains more than 60 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas resources, of which 18 Tcf will be developed with the first two trains. The project is expected to come into production by 2024, a time that Royal Dutch Shell has predicted as having a possible shortage of the fuel.
The Mozambique LNG project is considered largely derisked since nearly 90% of the project’s production is already sold through long-term contracts with key LNG buyers in Asia and in Europe.
Wood Mackenzie’s Frank Harris, head of LNG consulting, said in June that flexible commercial arrangements, including an innovative co-purchase agreement with Tokyo Gas (Japan’s largest provider of city gas) and Centrica, had been instrumental in securing the Mozambique project a roster of high-quality customers in a crowded LNG market.
Sangster’s comments come as Total, the second largest private LNG seller after Shell, increases its global LNG footprint. In September, the company took over Toshiba’s U.S. LNG assets for $800 million in cash, adding 2 mmty of LNG to its U.S. business. Total said at the time the takeover of Toshiba’s LNG portfolio was in line with its strategy to become a major LNG portfolio player.
In October, Total bought a 37.4% share in Indian gas distribution company Adani Gas for $866 million, giving the company a role in India’s growing LNG market, which is becoming the second largest driver of the fuel in Asia after China.
Total is on track to have an overall LNG portfolio of around 40 mmty by 2020 and a worldwide market share of 10%, the company said. Through its stakes in liquefaction plants located in Qatar, Nigeria, Russia, Norway, Oman, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Australia, Angola and Yemen, it sells LNG in all global markets.