Fate of Yemen’s long-delayed LNG venture to be determined mid-June
An international consortium, led by France’s TotalFinaElf, has expressed interest in financing Yemen’s long-delayed five-billion dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, reported the official news agency Saba. The consortium is expected to meet on June 16 in order to make a final decision on their involvement in the project.
However, although TotalFinaElf is reportedly backing the project, American firms ExxonMobil and Hunt, the project’s other minority shareholder’s, have indicated that they would prefer to pull out, disclosed the Cyprus-based MEES.
Nearly seven years ago, TotalFinaElf and the state-owned Yemen General Gas Corporation (YGCC) set up Yemen Liquefied Natural Gas (YLNG) company to operate the new plant, whose target production level was set at of 5.3 million tons of LNG annually.
TotalFinaElf currently holds a 36 percent interest in YLNG and the YGCC owns 21 percent. The remaining shares are held 15.1 percent by the Hunt company and 14.5 percent by ExxonMobil. South Korea's SK Corporation and Hyundai own another 8.4 percent and five percent respectively.
The YLNG venture, the Republic’s largest single energy project, aims to develop natural gas from the Marib-Jawf and Jannah fields, and transport it via pipeline to a natural gas processing plant and export terminal in Balhaf on the southern coast.
Start-up of the project was originally scheduled for 2000 or 2001. However, Totalfina announced in March 1998 that the project would be delayed until customers, willing to sign long-term take-or-pay contracts, are found. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)