Statoil finds more gas offshore Tanzania

March 31, 2015 | Exploration / Discoveries, Tanzania

Stavanger, Norway | – Tanzania may be ripe for future offshore natural gas development, though time is needed for appraisal after the latest find, Norway’s Statoil said Monday.

Statoil announced the discovery of roughly 1 trillion and 1.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Mdalasini-1 well off the Tanzanian coast. Marking the end of the first phase of operations there, the company said its eight discoveries to date combine for approximately 22 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.

Nick Maden, a regional vice president for the company, said in a statement the company views Tanzania as a high prospect gas opportunity, “but there will be a pause in the drilling to evaluate the next steps and to mature new prospects.”

The company said last year it would put a greater emphasis on natural gas developments in sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania, Chief Executive Officer Eldar Saetr said there were emerging opportunities for natural gas and liquefied natural gas development.

Tanzania is among the growing number of emerging producers in East Africa. Despite the recent discoveries, Statoil said much of the region’s population still lacks access to reliable forms of energy.

The International Energy Agency last year said the sub-Saharan economy could grow by as much as 30 percent by 2040 with the right investment climate in place.