Coral Sul has exported its first LNG cargo, bringing Mozambique into the exclusive club of liquefied gas exporters.
Operator Eni announced the development on November 13.
“The first shipment of LNG from Coral South project, and from Mozambique, is a new and significant step forward in Eni’s strategy to leverage gas as a source that can contribute in a significant way to Europe’s energy security”, said Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi.
The executive went on to say the project would help support a just and sustainable transition.
“We will continue to work with our partners to ensure timely valorization of Mozambique’s vast gas resources”.
Eni and partners approved the $8 billion Coral Sul floating LNG (FLNG) in 2017. It can produce 3.4 million tonnes per year of LNG, exporting gas from the 450 billion cubic metre Coral reservoir.
Working alongside Eni on the project are ExxonMobil, CNPC, Galp, KOGAS and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH).
Eni attributed its success on the project to its “distinctive phased and parallelized approach, a very effective execution planning, and the strong commitment by all partners and the unwavering support of the government of Mozambique”.
The number of FLNG projects globally is limited and they have faced technical challenges. Shell’s Prelude, offshore Australia, has seen a variety of technical issues pop up, disrupting production.
Various analysts have raised concerns around the slow start at Coral Sul. Bloomberg reported an LNG tanker’s arrival at the facility in August, which subsequently departed with loading.
Energy Intelligence noted a source as saying there were “serious issues” with a distillation column.
Eni and ExxonMobil reported production had begun in late October, at their third quarter results.
While the start up will help validate the premise of FLNG, there will be a close watch on operational challenges – and the complexity of dealing with these in remote areas.
Updated on November 14 to correct cost of Coral Sul to $8bn, based on ExxonMobil’s report.