Equinor ASA, a Norwegian multinational energy company headquartered in Stavanger, said it is ready to start talks with Tanzania on developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project based on a deepwater offshore discovery.
The company, which is a majority state-owned energy company formerly known as Statoil said the president of Tanzania, John Magufuli has asked his government to proceed with negotiations to set out the commercial and fiscal framework for the LNG project.
A spokesman for Equinor told Reuters that “Equinor will now proceed with our partner ExxonMobil with negotiations for a host government agreement”. He revealed that it was too early to say how long talks with the government could take and how much the project would cost.
In 2014, Tanzania said a planned LNG export plant could cost up to $30 billion. Royal Dutch Shell had previously sought to develop the LNG project in partnership with Equinor and Exxon Mobil.
In an email sent to Reuters, a Shell spokeswoman said “Shell continues to work with the government of Tanzania to establish the most cost effective and competitive solution for the LNG project in Tanzania. We believe the government is best placed to lead the right way forward to deliver the project”.
Shell declined to say whether it would join Equinor and Exxon Mobil or would pursue separate talks with the government.