The Mozambique national oil company has revealed that it plans to increase its stake in fields operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Eni SpA,  as the country seeks a greater share of profit from the largest natural-gas discovery in a decade.

“We are trying to see how we can increase our participation in the projects,” Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos director of engineering and project engineering Paulino Gregorio said in an interview with Bloomberg News in the capital. “Of course, we have financial constraints.”

Mozambique’s offshore fields may hold enough gas to meet global demand for more than two years, according to ENH, which holds 15% of the Rovuma-1 deposit operated by Anadarko and 10% of four Eni fields. The fuel will feed liquefied natural gas export plants for shipment to world markets.

Texas-based Anadarko spokesman Brian Cain declined to comment, while Eni’s Filippo Cotalini in Milan didn’t answer a call to his phone.

Mozambique plans to build four LNG units with a total capacity of 20 million metric tons a year by 2018, making it the world’s largest LNG export site after Ras Laffan in Qatar. This development may cost US$20 billion.

International Bechtel Company, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company and Chiyoda Corporation and a venture between JGC Corporation and Fluor Transworld Services Incorporated,  are bidding to construct the LNG plants.

Technip SA;  McDermott International Incorporated;  Allseas Group SA; Subsea 7 SA  and Saipem SpA are bidding for the underwater work to bring the gas to the plants. The contracts will be awarded in the first half of next year and construction will begin by early 2015.

East Africa has attracted global oil producers seeking to add reserves as traditional fields mature and go into decline. As gas discoveries have been made, national energy companies have sought a larger portion of future revenues as demand from Asian markets continues to climb.

Banks are reported to have approached ENH to help arrange financing for its stake in the offshore gas and LNG development, but none have been identified. Mozambique also plans an industrial zone around the LNG plants and a 2,100km north-south pipeline to help nurture local industries..

‘The Mozambique government will probably announce a bidding round for new offshore exploration blocks once parliament approves a new petroleum law,” he concluded.

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.