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International oil giants, Shell, Equinor sign $30B LNG framework agreement with Tanzania

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International oil giants, Norway’s Equinor (EQNR.OL), and Britain’s Shell, have signed a framework agreement with Tanzania for the construction of a $30 billion Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal.

The agreement which was signed on Saturday, according to Tanzanian Energy Minister, January Makamba, would pave the way for a final investment decision in 2025 on the facility.

Makamba said the construction of the facility will harness the huge offshore natural gas discoveries in deep waters off Tanzania’s southern coast which has been held up for years by regulatory delays.

Shell’s Vice President ared Kuehl, who is also the company’s board chairman in Tanzania, said at the ceremony which had the Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu, in attendance, said:

“We believe Tanzania has advantages because it has a strategic location and the opportunity to deliver a competitive and investable project.”

Equinor, which had in 2021 booked a $982 million writedown on the project having decided it would not be sufficiently profitably, said in a statement it was too early to say whether it would reverse that writedown as a result of the deal announced on Saturday.

Equinor operates Tanzania’s Block 2, in which Exxon Mobil also holds a stake and which is estimated to hold more than 20 trillion cubic feet (0.6 trillion cubic metres) of gas.

Equinor aims to work on the LNG project with Shell, which operates Block 1 and Block 4, with 16 trillion cubic feet in estimated recoverable gas.

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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