VENTURES AFRICA – Tanzania’s status amongst the growing league of African nations with huge gas reserves has been bolstered as Norwegian oil firm Statoil and ExxonMobil announced the discovery of a large natural gas deposit off the coast of the East African nation.
Statoil said in a statement on Thursday that the discovery, its seventh major find in just over a year, confirmed 3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas in the Lavani well, 2,400 meters under the sea, adds to further resources at another nearby find.
According to Statoil block’s operator, it adds 1 Tcf of gas to an earlier 5 Tcf discovery in the Zafarani sidetrack in the same block just 16 kilometres away.
As East Africa’s hydrocarbon potential continue to grow following a string of discoveries by oil majors off Mozambique and Tanzania, it positions the region for development as competition for investment opportunities in Africa’s emerging markets take shape.
Statoil holds a 65 percent stake and an operating licence on 5,500-square-kilometre Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation while ExxonMobil Exploration has 35 percent.
TRhe oil firm’s track record for solid upstream success was reaffirmed after the discovery as it has also made big finds in the mature areas of the North Sea, the Arctic Barents sea, in Brazil and Tanzania.
Other East African countries - Kenya and Mozambique – have also announced huge oil and gas finds in recent times.