28 Feb 2024 09:56

Congo joins ranks of LNG exporters with gas produced in project with Lukoil

MOSCOW. Feb 28 (Interfax) - The Republic of Congo has produced its first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will export it to Italy, Italian energy company Eni said in a press release.

"With the first cargo, the Republic of the Congo enters the group of LNG exporting countries, opening up opportunities for economic growth while contributing to global energy balance," Eni said.

The first LNG cargo is currently being loaded and will sail to the Piombino regasification terminal in Italy in the coming days, the company said.

Gas shipments from the Marine XII block to the African country's first floating LNG plant, Tango, began at the end of 2023. Tango, which has capacity to liquefy about 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year, is moored in Congolese waters next to the Excalibur floating storage unit, using a split mooring for a floating LNG terminal for the first time.

Under the project, Congo LNG plans to increase the reserves of Marine XII and gradually expand gas liquefaction capacity to a plateau of about 4.5 bcm per year. A second floating LNG plant with capacity of about 3.5 bcm per year is now being built and is expected to start production in 2025. All the produced LNG will be marketed by Eni.

The 571-square-km Marine XII licensed block is located 20 km off the coast of the Republic of Congo and has water depth ranging from 20 to 90 meters. Five fields have been discovered within the block, with combined proven and probable (2P) reserves estimated at 1.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to an international, independent audit. The Nene and Litchendjili fields went into operation in 2015.

Russian oil company Lukoil bought a 25% stake in Marine XII from New Age M12 Holdings Limited in 2019 for $800 million. Eni is the operator of the project, with a stake of 65%, and the other 10% is owned by state company Societe Nationale des Petroles du Congo.