Discoverer Americas Drillship Finds Gas Offshore Tanzania

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December 6, 2013

Discoverer Americas, a 6th Generation Drillship owned by Transocean drilled the Mronge-1 well offshore Tanzania in 2,500 meters of water depth.  File image (c) Gary Hendershot

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) — Statoil ASA, Norway’s state-owned oil producer, discovered as much as 3 trillion cubic feet of gas offshore Tanzania, where it plans to build a liquefied natural gas plant.

The new find at the Mronge-1 well, Statoil and partner Exxon Mobil Corp.’s fifth in Block 2 since last year, brings total volumes in place to as much as 20 trillion cubic feet of gas, the Stavanger-based company said in a statement.

The discovery “furthers the potential for a natural gas development in Tanzania,” Statoil’s head of exploration in the western hemisphere, Nick Maden, said in the statement. “These are high value resources. The attractiveness is also demonstrated by a recent asset transaction in the neighboring block.”

Statoil and BG Group Plc., operator of three neighboring blocks, are planning to build Tanzania’s first liquefied natural gas plant to export the country’s gas to Asian markets, where the fuel is priced higher than in Europe and North-America. Tanzania has East Africa’s largest gas volumes after Mozambique.

Coutesy Statoil
Coutesy Statoil

BG’s partner Ophir Energy Plc. last month sold a 20 percent stake in three blocks off Tanzania for $1.3 billion to Pavilion Energy Pte.

Statoil plans to drill six wells off Tanzania in 2014, of which half will be exploration wells and half appraisal wells, Maden said in an interview last month. Drillship Discoverer Americas will now appraise the Zafarani discovery from last year, the company said in today’s statement.

– Mikael Holter, Copyright 2013 Bloomberg.

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