Statoil finds more gas offshore Tanzania
(Reuters; June 14) - Statoil has found another big gas deposit off Tanzania, putting it within reach of enough gas for commercial development. Statoil and ExxonMobil found 3 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Lavani well 7,800 feet under the sea, and added 1 tcf of gas to the nearby Zafarani discovery, giving them 9 tcf of gas offshore the East Africa nation, Statoil said June 14. "We would need another Lavani to feel comfortable we have the gas for commercial development," said Tim Dodson, Statoil's exploration chief.
The discovery confirms East Africa's status as one of the world's fastest growing gas hubs, with the U.S. Geological Survey estimating that 253 trillion cubic feet may lie off Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, relatively close to Asia's lucrative LNG markets. Anadarko has estimated its reserves off northern Mozambique at between 30 trillion and 60 trillion cubic feet while Eni said its neighboring exploration block may have 52 trillion cubic feet of gas.
"This is a highly significant discovery for Statoil," said Trond Omdal, an analyst at Arctic Securities. "It would cost at least $10 billion to develop the field, and gas would not come to the market sooner than after 2020. ... Developing this will be quite a challenge given that in East Africa, like in Tanzania and Mozambique, there's limited infrastructure in place," Dodson said. "So it's going to take a little bit longer." Statoil is securing rigs and making plans for further exploration activity.