The deteriorating security situation in the north of the Cabo Delgado province has prompted Total, as operator of the Mozambique LNG project, to declare force majeure.

Total has confirmed that all personnel at the roughly USD20 billion project have been withdrawn. It said that it “expresses solidarity with the government and people of Mozambique and wishes that the actions carried out by the government of Mozambique and its regional and international partners will enable the restoration of security and stability in Cabo Delgado province in a sustained manner”.

The news, while not entirely unprecedented given the insurgency that has been swelling in the area since 2017, is certainly a blow to Mozambique. The government aims to generate USD100 billion in revenue over the project’s 25-year lifetime.

By declaring force majeure, which included the developments of the Golfinho and Atum offshore natural gas fields and the construction of a two-train liquefaction plant, the developers will be able to renegotiate their contracted obligations. The development will be felt acutely by project logisticians and heavy lift service providers, many of which have boosted their presence in the region to support the project.