• Companies to tap adjoining reservoirs in `coordinated manner'
  • Fuel production is destined for export as well as domestic use

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Eni SpA agreed on a plan to develop adjoining natural-gas areas off Mozambique as the East African nation moves toward getting its first exports off the ground.

The two companies will drill the reservoirs -- in Anadarko’s Area 1 and Eni’s Area 4 -- in a “separate but coordinated manner,” they said in separate statements. The agreement, targeting 24 trillion cubic feet of gas from the areas combined, is subject to approval by the government.

Mozambique has attracted international energy companies to exploit huge gas finds in the northern Rovuma basin that could help turn the country into the third-biggest liquefied natural gas exporter in a decade. The Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko has said it’s waiting on government approvals to reach an investment decision on its project.

The U.S. company has “already made tremendous progress” at Area 1, said Mitch Ingram, executive vice president of global LNG. Anadarko’s agreement with Eni will allow the companies to develop the fields more efficiently and capitalize on greater economies of scale, he said.

Once the 24 trillion-cubic-foot goal has been reached, future development will be handled by a joint-venture operator, held equally by the two companies, they said.

Anadarko also reached a memorandum of understanding with Mozambique to provide gas for domestic use.

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