Mozambique began exporting liquefied natural gas for the first time, and the first shipments in the country’s history headed to energy-hungry Europe, in a move that the country’s President Filipe Nyusi described as historic.
Mozambique produced gas at an offshore terminal operated by Italian energy company Eni, but British oil giant British Petroleum (BP) has the rights to buy it.
The gas left on a British cargo ship for Europe, but its final destination, which country will receive this gas, is still unknown.
The shipment comes at a time when Europe is looking for alternative sources of gas, and is trying to reduce its dependence on Russia, after its invasion of Ukraine, and several countries have resorted to searching for energy sources in Africa and the Middle East.
The European Union pledged to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, and member states agreed in July to cut gas use by 15 percent.
Gas prices on the European continent are now nearly 10 times higher than their average level over the past decade.
In February 2021, gas was trading in Britain at 38 pence per therm. But last August, its price reached 537 pence.
Mozambique hopes to become one of the world’s largest natural gas exporters, after discovering gas reserves in the northern province of Cabo Delgado in 2010.
However, efforts to invest in gas were halted due to the rebellion of Islamic organizations, which began about five years ago and is still ongoing, and has resulted in the deaths of more than 4,000 people, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands in the region.
The government believes that the gas discovery will boost the economy, but President Nyusi said Mozambique will continue to focus on “traditional activities” such as agriculture, fishing and tourism to achieve the needed development.
Unconventional solutions to the crisis
European countries began to search for unconventional ways to confront the high energy prices in the world, after Russia reduced the supply of natural gas through pipelines, so dealing with wasted energy became a priority for European governments.
Steps have also been taken to reduce heating and air conditioning, and the European Union has drawn up a plan to reduce gas consumption by 15 percent this winter, and to ensure that its natural gas reserves are 80 percent full by November 1.
Some countries have resorted to turning off the lights, and Germany said that public buildings and monuments will no longer be lit at night, while in Spain, lights must be turned off in shop windows after 10 pm.
France believes that such measures could reduce energy consumption by 10 percent.