India to invest $6 bn more in Mozambique gas block: Pradhan

India to invest $6 bn more in Mozambique gas block: Pradhan

In addition to the $6 billion already invested, Indian oil companies are slated to invest another $6 billion in stages by 2019 in Mozambique’s Rovuma Area 1 offshore block, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.

“In Mozambique, where I have just concluded my official visit, we have invested more than $6 billion. Another $6 billion will be invested to develop Rovuma Area 1 field,” Pradhan told reporters here.

State-run ONGC Videsh Ltd., Oil India and Bharat Petroleum Corp have bought 30 percent stake in this Mozambique gas block and will also participate in the LNG project.

“The early monetisation of Rovuma Area 1 in offshore is a priority. But we must also respect the sovereign laws and rules of that country,” he added.

Describing Mozambique, situated on the eastern coast of Africa, as an important destination from the standpoint of India’s energy security, the oil minister said a joint working group, which was decided to be set up in November 2014, met in Mozambique during his visit.

“In August, a high-level delegation from Mozambique’s oil and gas sector will come to India, which signifies the close ties,” he said.

On liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports from Mozambique, Pradhan said the first shipments are expected to come by 2019, and the operator consortium has already begun talks with Indian utilities like GAIL regarding supplies.

During his official visit on April 9-10, besides meeting Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Pedro Couto, Pradhan also met Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi and called on Prime Minister Agostino Rosario.

Mozambique plans to produce 34 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas annually from its biggest gas field.

Ten LNG terminals are likely to be set up, each with a yearly capacity of five million tonnes of gas.

US-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp is the Rovuma 1 project operator. Other partners include Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos EP of Mozambique, Mitsui of Japan and PTT Exploration and Production of Thailand.

India currently has 18,000 MW of power-genration capacity lying idle due to shortage of gas, with another 10,000 MW in the pipeline awaiting commissioning.

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