Italian oil and gas company Eni agreed to sell its 25 percent interest in gas-rich Area 4 block offshore Mozambique to ExxonMobil for a cash price of approximately US$2.8 billion.
Eni currently holds a 50 percent indirect share in the block through a 71.4 percent stake in Eni East Africa, which owns 70 percent of the Area 4 concession.
The deepwater Area 4 block contains an estimated 85 trillion cubic feet (2,400 billion cubic meters) of natural gas, which will provide resources for a “world-class” LNG project, in which the partners expect to invest tens of billions of dollars.
The agreement follows reports from August last year that ExxonMobil acquired a multi-billion dollar stake in the planned Mozambique LNG development.
The agreement is also subject to a clearance by the Mozambican and other regulatory authorities, Eni said in its statement on Thursday.
Commenting on the deal, Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, said the investment will “enable ExxonMobil’s LNG leadership and experience to support development of Mozambique’s abundant natural gas resources.”
Eni will continue to lead the Coral floating LNG project and all upstream operations in Area 4, while ExxonMobil will lead the construction and operation of natural gas liquefaction facilities onshore.
This will enable the two companies to focus on “distinct and clearly defined scopes while preserving the benefits of a fully integrated project,” the statement reads.
Following completion of the transaction, Eni East Africa will be co-owned by Eni (35.7 percent), ExxonMobil (35.7 percent) and CNPC (28.6 percent). The remaining interests in Area 4 are held by Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos E.P. (ENH, 10 percent), Kogas (10 percent) and Galp Energia (10 percent).