Total CEO expected in Mozambique after gas project halted

Total CEO expected in Mozambique after gas project halted

Mozambique has pinned hopes for prosperity on enormous gas deposits found in Cabo Delgado province
Mozambique has pinned hopes for prosperity on enormous gas deposits found in Cabo Delgado province. Photo: Kun TIAN / AFP
Source: AFP

PAY ATTENTION: Enjoy reading our stories? Join's Telegram channel for more!

The head of French energy giant TotalEnergies is expected this week to visit Mozambique, where a multi-billion-dollar gas project has been on hold since a 2021 jihadist attack, according to government sources.

CEO Patrick Pouyanne is to fly to the southern African nation to discuss conditions for the possible restart of operations in restive Cabo Delgado province.

Pouyanne "will hold meetings... for the resumption of activities interrupted as a result of the terrorist action," a Mozambican official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He is expected to hold talks with President Filipe Nyusi and government ministers, the sources said.

TotalEnergies said it did not comment on travel arrangements.

Mozambique has set high hopes on vast natural gas deposits -- the largest found south of the Sahara -- that were discovered in the Muslim-majority northern province in 2010.

Read also

Pakistan inflation rises to 48-year high as IMF visits

PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see News on your News Feed!

If all the deposits are tapped, Mozambique could become one of the world's 10 biggest gas exporters, according to estimates.

But the region has since been hit by an insurgency waged by Islamic State-linked militants, casting doubt over the scheme.

TotalEnergies halted its $20 billion LNG project in 2021, after a deadly raid on the coastal town of Palma.

The attack triggered the deployment of forces from Rwanda and southern African countries which have since helped Mozambique retake control of much of Cabo Delgado.

But sporadic and low-level jihadists attacks continue in part of the province.

Pouyanne's visit is likely to fuel expectations that TotalEnergies is closer to resuming work in the impoverished region.

In November, the first export shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the area left Mozambique for Europe.

Read also

Norway not a war profiteer, PM says

But the LNG was produced at Coral Sul, a floating facility managed by Italian company Eni.

The deep-water scheme has so far been spared from the risk of attack, whereas Total's project is onshore.

The conflict in northern Mozambique has claimed more than 4,500 lives, 2,000 of them civilians, and forced around a million people to flee their homes.

New feature: Сheck out news that is picked for YOU ➡️ click on “Recommended for you” and enjoy!

Source: AFP

AFP avatar

AFP AFP text, photo, graphic, audio or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. AFP news material may not be stored in whole or in part in a computer or otherwise except for personal and non-commercial use. AFP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in any AFP news material or in transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages whatsoever. As a newswire service, AFP does not obtain releases from subjects, individuals, groups or entities contained in its photographs, videos, graphics or quoted in its texts. Further, no clearance is obtained from the owners of any trademarks or copyrighted materials whose marks and materials are included in AFP material. Therefore you will be solely responsible for obtaining any and all necessary releases from whatever individuals and/or entities necessary for any uses of AFP material.

Online view pixel