The Lavani discovery contains an estimated 3 trillion cubic feet of gas, or 530 million barrels of oil equivalent, Statoil said in a statement today. The company also said a side-track well to its recent Zafarani discovery had added 1 trillion cubic feet to reserves estimated at 5 trillion cubic feet in February.
“The results so far mark an important step towards a possible natural gas development in Tanzania,” Statoil’s executive vice president for exploration Tim Dodson said in the statement. Lavani, 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Zafarani, “confirms the high potential in Block 2,” he said.
Statoil, which is 67 percent owned by the Norwegian government, is expanding abroad in a bid to boost reserves as output dwindles at aging offshore fields at home. The Lavani discovery is Statoil’s seventh high-impact find, defined as containing more than an estimated 250 million barrels of oil equivalent, in the last 14 months.
Statoil operates Block 2 off Tanzania with a 65 percent interest, while Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) holds the remaining 35 percent. Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. (PETD) has a right to a 10 percent working interest if the project moves to development.
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