Statoil, Exxon make third ‘high-impact’ gas find off Tanzania

Statoil ASA (STL), Norway’s largest energy producer, reported a third “high-impact” natural-gas find off Tanzania and increased its resource estimate for the block to as much as 17 trillion cubic feet.

The Tangawizi-1 discovery, which contains as much as 6 trillion cubic feet of gas, was made at a depth of 2,300 meters (7,500 feet), 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Stavanger-based Statoil and partner Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)’s Zafarani and Lavani finds, the company said today 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 executive vice president for exploration, said in the statement.

Recoverable volumes now exceed the range of 8 trillion to 10 trillion cubic feet that Dodson in June said was necessary to export liquefied natural gas from Tanzania. A commercial development is “very likely,” Statoil’s Chief Financial Officer Torgrim Reitan said in February after the company updated its recoverable-resource estimate for the block to 9 trillion cubic feet.

The new discovery is the fourth in Block 2 in a year and the third “high-impact” find, defined as holding more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent or 100 million barrels net to Statoil. Statoil operates the license with a 65 percent stake, while Exxon holds 35 percent.