afrol News, 9 February - A US oil company has announced "a string of major deepwater natural gas discoveries off the coast of Mozambique." The discoveries believed to be are large enough to secure commercial use.
The Tubarao discovery well off the coast of northern Mozambique had encountered large quantities of natural gas pay "in a high-quality" reservoir that is separate and distinct from earlier offshore discoveries in the nearby Rovuma Basin, the US oil company Anadarko Petroleum Corporation announced.
"The discovery at the Tubarao prospect opens an entirely new play style, which has additional opportunities in Mozambique's Offshore Area 1," Anadarko Vice President Bob Daniels commented. "This is our fourth significant discovery in the offshore Rovuma Basin," he added.
While the discoveries are of a major size, there is still much work before a possible commercial exploitation of the gas reservoir at Tubarao could be considered. More discovery wells are to be drilled, the data are to be analysed and test drilling needs to be done.
Further, capital has to be raised for a possible gas platform to be installed at the deepwater discovery and for the needed infrastructure to receive and distribute the gas.
Mozambique is already a gas producer, but at a very limited level, with the country's significant onshore gas reserves being the first to be commercially exploited. Three major onshore gas fields have been discovered, but despite great energy needs in Mozambique and neighbouring South Africa, a large-scale production still has not been assured.
South Africa's Sasol and Mozambique's Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) are planning to invest in an increased onshore gas production at the Pande field in Mozambique's southern Inhambane Province, aiming at reaching nearby South African markets.
Recently, there have also been made major offshore discoveries of natural gas, with Ruvoma being the most significant so far. The large deepwater gas discovery in the Rovuma Basin was also made by Anadarko, only one year ago.
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