Location, Location—Tanzania, Mozambique Soon To Join Club of Global LNG Suppliers to India, China, Southeast Asia
It takes only 3 days for an LNG carrier or oil tanker to reach India from East Africa where Tanzania is destined to become an LNG exporter together with its neighbor Mozambique and a transit point for Ugandan oil exports.
East Africa is positioning itself as a global player in liquefied natural gas (LNG) with the world’s supermajors staking out projects that will ramp up this decade to supply India, Southeast Asia, and China through 2050.
With three LNG megaprojects—two in Mozambique and one in neighboring Tanzania—soon to take off after years of false starts and delays, it is no wonder that India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited the region in April with energy security top of mind.
Jaishankar’s East Africa trip was the first official visit to the region by an Indian foreign minister in over a decade. He stopped first in Uganda where oil is in play after Uganda inked a deal in February to complete the long-delayed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and deliver first oil in 2025 from Uganda’s Lake Albert oil fields to Tanzania’s port of Tanga on the Indian Ocean.
After spending 3 days in Uganda, Jaishankar traveled to Mozambique where state-owned ONGC Videsh leads an Indian consortium holding a 30% stake in the country’s $20-billion Offshore Area 1 project, Mozambique LNG, which stalled in April 2021 after the operator, TotalEnergies, declared force majeure over terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado Province near the Afungi peninsula plant site.
Mozambique LNG’s 13.1-mtpa capacity, two-train facility is one of two megaprojects that will help transform East Africa into a global LNG supplier. The other is ExxonMobil’s Rovuma LNG project, another two-train facility for which a final investment decision (FID) was delayed as the Islamic insurgency that had been building since 2020 intensified along the Cabo Delgado coast.
India imports 85% of its oil and 55% of its natural gas. In 2022, it consumed about 22 mpta of LNG, according to Shell’s LNG Outlook 2023. India’s business daily Mint reported that during Q1 2023, India’s LNG imports were worth $14.88 billion, an amount that was 36.46% higher than the $10.90 billion value of LNG India imported in Q1 2022.
So far in 2023, Qatar has been India’s No.