Tokyo: India and Mozambique on Wednesday agreed to expedite development of the giant Rovuma gas discovery, which is planned to be converted into liquified natural gas (LNG) for exports.

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is in Tokyo to attend the “LNG Producer-Consumer Conference", met his Mozambique counterpart Leticia Klemens to discuss the development of the gas field. “Met Energy Minister of Mozambique; agreed to expedite our project of gas development where Indian companies have invested about USD 6.5 billion," Pradhan said in a Twitter post.

ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), holds 16% stake in Mozambique offshore block Rovuma Area 1. Oil India Ltd has 4% stake while a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) holds 10% stake. The Area 1 covers roughly 10,000 square kilometer area and is located in northernmost part of offshore Mozambique Rovuma Basin.

According to ONGC Videsh, second and final exploration phase for Area 1 ended on 31 January, 2015 and have resulted in five discoveries, with combined recoverable resource of about 60 trillion cubic feet. Area 1 represents one of the largest natural gas discoveries in offshore East Africa and has the potential to become one of the world’s largest LNG producing hubs.

Area-1 plans to develop initially two LNG trains of capacity 6 million tonnes per annum each. “Area-1 is working towards taking final investment decision (FID) as quickly as possible," OVL said on its website. “Area-1 has also incorporated Mozambique LNG1 Company Pte Ltd in Singapore to oversee marketing and shipping activities of LNG from first 2 trains of Golfinho-Atum field."

The partners are negotiating with buyers for conversion of existing non-binding heads of agreements (HOAs) to sales purchase agreements (SPAs). Area-1 targets to raise up to $12-15 billion through project finance, it added.