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Business News/ News / World/  Mozambique gas field restart is win for India
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Mozambique gas field restart is win for India

ONGC Videsh holds 16%, while BPRL Ventures Mozambique BV, a subsidiary of BPCL, and Oil India Ltd hold 10% and 4% respectively. India has maintained an active interest in the resumption of operations at the plant

The $20 billion ‘Offshore Area 1’ project has been under force majeure since April 2021 following attacks by Islamic State terrorists in the coastal town of Palma in Cabo Delgado province (Reuters)Premium
The $20 billion ‘Offshore Area 1’ project has been under force majeure since April 2021 following attacks by Islamic State terrorists in the coastal town of Palma in Cabo Delgado province (Reuters)

New Delhi: The Cabo Delgado gasfield in Mozambique, in which Indian energy majors hold a 30% stake, is expected to resume production this month after terror attacks threatened to derail it, according to persons aware of the matter.

The $20 billion ‘Offshore Area 1’ project has been under force majeure since April 2021 following attacks by Islamic State terrorists in the coastal town of Palma in Cabo Delgado province. The fragile security situation led the TotalEnergies-operated Mozambique LNG to announce the withdrawal of all project personnel from the site.

However, an improvement in the security situation in the province of Cabo Delgado led the government of Mozambique to green light the resumption of operations in April this year. India had invested in the project in order to improve gas supplies. ONGC Videsh holds 16%, while BPRL Ventures Mozambique BV, a subsidiary of BPCL, and Oil India Ltd hold 10% and 4% respectively. India has maintained an active interest in the resumption of operations at the plant. Mint reported in March that India was planning to send an expert team to Mozambique to examine whether the project could resume operations.

According to the persons cited above, visits from Indian foreign ministry and petroleum officials have taken place in recent months. .

“It is one of the most prolific gas assets. It’s just a three-day journey from there to India. So, once the supplies start, it would significantly and immediately add to the LNG availability in the country," said a person familiar with the project.

Queries to the ministries of external affairs and petroleum and natural gas remained unanswered at press time. Queries to BPCL, OIL and ONGC Videsh also went unanswered.

India has been trying to widen its source base for its energy needs. The country currently depends on imports for as much as 85% of its oil needs and 55% of its natural gas demand

“It is one of the most prolific gas assets. Its just a three-day journey from there to India. So, once the supplies start, it would significantly and immediately add to the LNG availability in the country,“ said one person aware of the project.

In FY23 (April-January), India imported LNG worth $14.88 billion, 36.46% higher than the $10.90 billion during the corresponding period in FY22. Qatar was the largest supplier to India so far, followed by the United Arab Emirates and the US.

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Published: 06 Jul 2023, 10:46 PM IST
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