Total – Mozambique

Following the discovery of important quantities of natural gas in the Rovuma Basin off the coast of Northern Mozambique in 2010 and a $20 billion final investment decision in June 2019, the Total-led Mozambique LNG project is moving forward at pace.



Land in Mozambique
Land – Palma in Mozambique


Reported on 5 April 2021 that the Mozambique government said the army has secured the town of Palma. It was attacked by extremist militants in March sending tens of thousands fleeing from their homes.  And communities in Namibia’s Okavango Delta are worried that their livelihoods and wildlife are at risk because of huge oil drilling plans.  Video


The project has a goal of awarding $2.5 billion in contracts to Mozambican owned or registered companies. This represents more than one third of our total onshore contract, with the bulk of the rest being spent on highly specialized, technical goods and services that cannot currently be sourced in Mozambique. 

A project of this scale also presents a significant opportunity for the training and development of the local workforce. The 5,500-strong Mozambican construction workforce has already delivered the new Quitunda Village, the Afungi airstrip, the Palma-Afungi highway and a raft of other projects essential for the construction of the LNG facility.

Mockup of Mozambique LNG plant and terminal - Exploration & Production - Total

Approximately 65 trillion cubic feet (the equivalent of 12 billion barrel oil field) of recoverable natural gas were discovered in Offshore Area 1. The results of the drill stem testing (DST) program in the Prosperidade and Golfinho/Atum complexes demonstrate the outstanding flow characteristics of the reservoirs. Each flow test successfully flowed at facility-constrained rates of 90 to 100 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), which supports well designs of 100 to 200 MMcf/d. initial plans are for a two-train project with scope to expand up to 43 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).

Mozambique’s geographic location means the country is well-positioned to meet the needs of customers in the Atlantic and Asia-Pacific markets, and to tap into the growing demand for energy in the Middle East and Indian sub-continent. As the world’s second largest LNG player and the leading energy player in Africa, Total is uniquely positioned to deliver a project which represents an extraordinary opportunity to meet increasing world demand for a sustainable, reliable and cleaner source of energy.


At end-2019, four FLNG facilities were operating worldwide: two in the Indian Ocean, one in the Gulf of Guinea and one offshore Argentina. The last two are moored to a jetty in calm seas. An external turret mooring system enables the Indian Ocean FLNG to weathervane through 360 degrees, to adapt to ocean conditions and face the best direction for LNG transfer.


To avoid building such complex installations and costly infrastructure, the Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility was invented and developed to combine an extraction unit with a natural gas liquefaction plant. The pay-off is steep savings and the protection of coastal areas that can be environmentally sensitive.

Because LNG is produced around the clock and storage capacity is limited, the gas must be regularly transferred to LNG carriers — every five to six days — using cryogenic loading arms that can tolerate a temperature of -163°C. A lack of weather windows may disrupt this schedule. If bad conditions persist for days, the FLNG’s production has to be halted, triggering a series of measures to protect the subsea production system and the liquefaction trains. The latter must be kept cold to minimize the amount of time needed to start back up again.


2020 – Gas project in Mozambique

Cabo Delgado is now home to Africa’s three largest liquid natural gas (LNG) projects: the Mozambique LNG Project (Total, formerly Anadarko) worth $20bn, Coral FLNG Project (ENI and ExxonMobil) worth $4.7bn, and Rovuma LNG Project (ExxonMobil, ENI and CNPC) worth $30bn.

Cabo Delgado is now home to Africa’s three largest liquid natural gas (LNG) projects: the Mozambique LNG Project (Total, formerly Anadarko) worth $20bn, Coral FLNG Project (ENI and ExxonMobil) worth $4.7bn, and Rovuma LNG Project (ExxonMobil, ENI and CNPC) worth $30bn.

Soon after the discovery of gas in Cabo Delgado, it became clear that even though exploration and extraction will take place offshore, a number of communities will have to be evicted to make way for the support facilities onshore to be used by Anadarko/Total and ENI’s projects. According to a 2016 report by Anadarko, over 550 families would have to be physically relocated and 952 would lose access to their cultivated land to make way for the facilities of the Mozambique LNG Project. In addition, over 3,000 individuals would lose access to their fishing grounds as a result of the projects’ operations. 

Some of these families have already had to move. Although the foreign companies promised to carry out resettlement and provide compensation after a thorough consultation process with affected communities, villagers I and my colleagues at the enviromental NGO Justica Ambiental have spoken to told us that their concerns and objections have fallen on deaf ears.

Many of them complained that the compensation has been inadequate. In some instances, arable land they were allocated encroaches on the farmlands of another community, causing conflict; in others, the new plots they were given were too far away from their homes.

Families who used to live just a few hundred metres from the sea and relied on fishing for their livelihoods will be resettled more than 10km away from the shore. Fishermen have already reported that initial gas development operations and drilling are affecting fishing stocks.

At the same time, promised jobs in the gas industry have not materialised, leaving the communities facing displacement anxious about their ability to provide for themselves in the future.

Some of the villagers have told us they are afraid to speak out because they may not receive any compensation or because they have been threatened by local authorities. Over the past two years, a number of journalists who have tried to report on the situation in Cabo Delgado have been arrested. 

Since 2017, men armed with guns and machetes have attacked communities across Cabo Delgado, killing some 700 people and injuring many. Beheadings, mass kidnappings and the razing of whole villages have sent some 100,000 people fleeing the province, according to the UN.


Various groups, including ISIL (ISIS) and Al Shabab – who are not affiliated with the Somali group by the same name – have supposedly claimed responsibility for some attacks, but for many, there has been no clear perpetrator.

Villagers we have spoken to have pointed out that while facilities of the gas companies have rarely been attacked, communities who have refused to move have been repeatedly raided by armed groups. 

Regardless of who is behind these attacks, they have alarmed the Mozambican government and forced it to deploy the military to Cabo Delgado. Earlier this month, Total and ExxonMobil requested from the local authorities to send more troops to the region for their protection.

Apart from displacement and insurgency, Cabo Delgado residents face the danger of environmental disaster due to the gas drilling. According to Anadarko’s 2014 environmental impact study, the project will produce a large amount of greenhouse gases and sulphur dioxide, introduce new species into the sea, and cause soil erosion.


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