ExxonMobil has signed an agreement to acquire a 25% indirect interest in the natural gas-rich Area 4 block in offshore Mozambique from Eni.
Currently, Eni owns 50% indirect interest in the block through a 71.4% stake in Eni East Africa, which owns 70% of the Area 4 concession.
ExxonMobil will pay approximately $2.8bn as consideration for this acquisition.
The transaction is subject to multiple preceding conditions including the approval from Mozambican and other regulatory authorities.
Eni chief executive officer Claudio Descalzi said: "This deal represents material evidence of our exploration strategy based on the early monetisation of our exploration discoveries, as a part of our ‘dual-exploration’ model.
"Through this strategy, Eni has been able to cash in more than $9bn in the last four years.
"Moreover, the agreement confirms the world-class quality, production potential, technical and financial robustness of the entire project."
ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive officer Darren W Woods said that the acquired asset will be a major addition to the company’s global development portfolio.
Woods said: "This strategic investment will enable ExxonMobil’s LNG leadership and experience to support development of Mozambique’s abundant natural gas resources.
"Our industry-leading project execution, advanced technologies, financial strength and marketing capabilities will help deliver reliable, affordable energy to customers and create long-term economic value for the people of Mozambique, project partners and ExxonMobil shareholders."
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.
After completion of the transaction, Eni East Africa will be co-owned by Eni (35.7%), ExxonMobil (35.7%) and CNPC (28.6%).
The remaining interests in Area 4 will be held by Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos de Mozambique EP (ENH, 10%), Kogas (10%) and Galp Energia(10%).
Natural gas is estimated to be a major fuel source, and Mozambique is well-positioned to supply LNG customers around the world.
The deepwater Area 4 block contains an estimated 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Image: ExxonMobil to acquire 25% indirect interest in the natural gas-rich Area 4 block, offshore Mozambique from Eni. Photo: courtesy of Eni.