Italy’s Eni is pushing ahead with studies for the standalone development of a slice of its huge gas reserves offshore East Africa’s Mozambique, outside of its current joint plans with Anadarko Petroleum for an onshore LNG park.

While the Italian remains fully committed to its high-profile Afungi LNG park plans with Anadarko to jointly receive gas from the giant Mamba/Coral complex that straddles Areas 1 and 4 in the Rovuma Basin, it also wants to advance separate parallel plans for a potential Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) or Gas-To-Liquids (GTL) development for other gas reserves entirely located on Area 4, based around its recent 5-7 Tcf Agulha-1 discovery.

Agulha-1 (see DI, 16 September 2013, page 5) has opened up “new alternatives for gas monetisation in Area 4,” according to Eni’s 10% partner in Area 4, Galp Energia of Portugal. Galp’s CEO, Manuel Ferreira de Oliveira, said in the company’s results presentation: “Considering the results of Agulha-1 and the volume of resources in reservoirs exclusively located in our area, which are already over 30 Tcf, we are now able to consider new alternatives to monetize those volumes of gas in place, with FLNG and GTL options under study.”

Agulha-1 (formerly called ‘K Bulge’) in the south of Area 4 proved the existence of a new play and also found indications of wet gas in the Cretaceous section, increasing the potential for an oil find in the area. De Oliveira commented: “We expect to have a better understanding of this potential after executing a three well exploration campaign in the area next year.” The Agulha well was the tenth drilled back to back in Area 4, where exploration has so far achieved a 100% success rate. It was drilled in 2,492 m (8,176 ft) of water around 80 km offshore, and hit about 160 m (525 ft) of wet gas pay.

Eni is still understood to be looking for an additional partner for Area 4, especially one with FLNG expertise, with Shell understood to be the partner of choice, DI hears.

Eni and Anadarko’s recent appraisal campaign on Mamba/Coral in Areas 1 and 4 concluded earlier this quarter with the Mamba Northeast-3 well, with total GIIP volumes put at more than 80 Tcf, with more than 30 Tcf located in reservoir exclusively located in Area 4.

A Final Investment Decision (FID) on Mamba is expected in 2014, although key issues are still being addressed including LNG sales contracts and the establishment of the legal framework required to support the planned and phased Afungi LNG terminal in the northeastern province of Cabo Delgado. Bechtel, CB&I-Chiyoda and JGC-Fluor are currently in a competitive FEED process for the LNG plant, after pre-FEEDs were carried out by KBR and Technip. The bids are due in for the first two LNG trains by the first quarter of 2014.

In addition there are also ongoing discussions over the finalisation of the unitisation agreement, according to De Oliveira, who went on to stress that at this moment there was no indication that the 2014 FID objective was at risk.

Galp’s De Oliveira also said that on or before 2019 the participants would have the first liquid gas in Mozambique. Originally 2018 had been the date pencilled in for gas to flow to shore, but that has now shifted back to 2019, with some of that delay linked to elections due to take place in Mozambique next year.