Mozambique: Gas Discovery in Rovuma Basin

Maputo — The US oil company Anardarko announced on Thursday that its off-shore drilling in the Rovuma Basin, in northern Mozambique, has hit upon hydrocarbon reserves.

The reserves in question are natural gas rather than oil, An Anardarko press release stated that its Windjammer exploratory well, off the coast of Cabo Delgado province, had "encountered more than 480 net feet of natural gas pay in high-quality reservoir sands, with a gross column of more than 1,200 feet".

The windjammer well has so far been drilled to a depth of about 4,270 metres in over 1,400 metres of water. Anardarko plans to drill a further 1.250 metres, gaining additional geological information.

Anardarko's Senior Vice-President for Worldwide Exploration, Bob Daniels, said the discovery of such large amounts of gas was "a strong indication of the potential of this basin". He described the results from the Windjammer well so far as positive for the partnership and for the people of Mozambique."

Anadarko is the operator of the well with a 43 per cent stake. The co-owners in the well are BPRL Ventures Mozambique B.V. (11.75 percent), Cove Energy Mozambique Rovuma Offshore, Ltd. (10 percent), Mitsui E&P Mozambique Area 1, Limited (23.5 percent) and Videocon Mozambique Rovuma 1 Limited (11.75 percent).

London-based Cove Energy was even more upbeat than Anadarko, describing the find as "a substantial hydrocarbon column in excellent quality reservoirs".

"This discovery, the first of its kind offshore east Africa, unlocks the hydrocarbon potential of a new petroleum province in the Rovuma basis", said the Cove CEO John Craven.

The hope must be that, as the drilling goes deeper, oil will be discovered underneath the gas.

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