Italian oil firm Eni has approached banks for billions of dollars to finance Mozambique’s huge offshore gas development, Reuters reported.

Eni met with bankers in London, late September, to discuss financing for the development of the Coral field, part of the huge reserves discovered six years ago in the Area 4 concession off the Mozambican coast, according to Oil Price. However, the banks were also looking for credit guarantees from foreign governments, including Britain and China.

Eni expects to get a response during October with the bank’s terms and conditions for the loans they are willing to provide.  Securing the development’s finances is the last stage before Eni can make a final investment decision (FID) on the project, with the company aiming to announce a FID by the end of 2016.

Eni estimates that the Coral discovery contains about 16Tcf of gas in place. The company plans to produce 140bcm of gas through the construction of a floating plant for the treatment, liquefaction and storage of gas with a capacity of 3.4mt/y, with the start-up expected in 2021.

In August, Egypt Oil&Gas had reported that  Eni had reached an agreement with US ExxonMobil to sell its multi-billion dollar stake in the planned offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) development project in Mozambique. According to the deal, Exxon will acquire a minority stake in the onshore LNG export plant to support Eni’s offshore operations in the Area 4 of the gas field.