Statoil Finds More Gas off Tanzania, Exports Likelier
Norway’s Statoil has made a fresh gas find offshore Tanzania, bringing it closer to having the resources to justify a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project that would export the fuel from East Africa, it said on Monday.
The discovery gives further evidence of the energy potential of East Africa, a region also being targeted for exploration because of its relative proximity to Asia’s big LNG consumers.
Statoil said its third major discovery in the region within a year adds 4-6 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in place, bringing the total in the block to between 15 and 17 tcf, it said in a statement.
“Recoverable gas volumes in the range of 10-13 tcf brings further robustness to a future decision on a potential LNG project”, Tim Dodson, Statoil’s exploration chief said.
Although Statoil has not yet committed to an LNG facility, it said last year, when its resource in place reached 9 tcf, that it needed at least another 3 tcf for the project to be economical.
The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that 253 tcf may lie off Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Analysts earlier estimated that the development of Statoil’s licence will cost around $10 billion.
Monday’s find in the Tangawizi-1 well in water depth of 2,300 metres (7,500 feet) adds to earlier discoveries in Zafarani and Lavani in Block 2, about 100 km off the east African coast.
Statoil has drilled five wells off Tanzania so far and expect further wells this year.
Statoil operates the license, with a 65 percent working interest, and ExxonMobil holding the remaining 35 percent.
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