Swiss giant Vitol Inc. is launching an energy trading venture with ENH, the national oil company (NOC) of Mozambique, where a plethora of natural gas reserves has opened the region to mega export projects.

Joint venture (JV) ENH Energy Trading, majority owned by ENH (51%), plans to trade energy commodities and in particular liquefied natural gas (LNG). The JV also plans to trade liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate.

Mozambique has an estimated 125 Tcf of technically recoverable gas resources, which is expected to translate into more than 30 million metric tons/year (mmty) of LNG. As the resources are developed, they are expected to produce significant LPG and condensate. 

“Our expectation for this JV is to embark on a path into international commodity trading markets to support our growth,” ENH Chairman Omar Mithá said. “As the national oil company of Mozambique operating actively in the upstream, we are confidently expanding our operations overseas, and building a reputable asset for future generations.”

In June, Offshore Area 1, an estimated $20 billion project that is to be Mozambique's first onshore LNG development, was sanctioned. It initially is to consist of two trains with total nameplate capacity of 12.88 mmty.

ExxonMobil and Eni SpA are leading the Area 4 JV, Mozambique Rovuma Venture SpA, which would produce more than 15 mmty. Eni and ExxonMobil in 2017 also sanctioned Mozambique’s offshore Coral South floating LNG project in Area 4 with capacity of up to 3.4 mmty.

As part of the agreement to form ENH Energy Trading, Vitol and ENH said they planned to develop an independent marketing and trading team, leveraging the parent companies’ knowledge and expertise. The company is to be incorporated and based in Singapore.

“We very much look forward to replicating our previous experience of partnering with an NOC and working with ENH to build ENH Energy Trading into a successful trading company with the expertise to serve Mozambique’s energy needs,” Vitol CEO Russell Hardy said.

Vitol, whose primary business is trading and distributing global energy products, in 2018 delivered 7.8 mmt-plus of LNG, and it expects to deliver at least 10 mmt this year. It also now trades more than 7 million b/d of crude, and at any time it has as many as 250 ships transporting its cargoes.

Vitol’s LNG portfolio is comprised of medium- and long-term contracts with a variety of customers, including Cheniere Energy Inc.