(Updates with comment from Statoil executive in third paragraph.)
Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Statoil ASA, Norway’s largest oil producer, said a natural gas find in the waters off off Tanzania with Exxon Mobil Corp. “is a high impact discovery.”
Logging from the Zafarani exploration well in offshore block 2 shows at least 5 trillion cubic feet of gas in place, the company said in a statement in Oslo. The well encountered 120 meters (390 feet) of reservoir with high porosity and high permeability, it said.
“This discovery is the first Statoil-operated discovery in east Africa,” said Tim Dodson, Statoil’s vice-president for exploration. “It is also a demonstration of how Statoil’s exploration strategy of early access and high-impact opportunities strongly supports the company’s ambition for international growth.”
Statoil is joining the race to find gas in east Africa so it can be turned into liquid and shipped to China and India, the world’s fastest-growing major economies. Royal Dutch Shell Plc this week bid $1.6 billion for Cove Energy Plc, a company with a stake in a 30 trillion-cubic-feet gas find in Mozambique, just south of Tanzania.
Statoil operates the license on Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation and has a 65 percent interest. Exxon holds the remaining 35 percent. TPDC has the right to a 10 percent working interest if the project moves to development.
“This discovery could potentially be a catalyst for large scale natural gas developments in Tanzania,” said Yona Killaghane, managing director of TPDC.
--Editors: Will Kennedy, John Viljoen
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