Dar es Salaam — The investment on the exploration and production of natural gas in Tanzania is projected to grow to between $10 to 20 billion in the coming decade.
Tanzania is a growing market with ongoing exciting discoveries of natural gas which including 19 exploration blocks.
Over the past two years, explorations in Tanzania's deep offshore waters have led to the discovery of about 45 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas.
Statoil and its partner ExxonMobil have make another high-impact gas discovery offshore Tanzania. The discovery in the Piri prospect is Statoil and co-venturer ExxonMobil's sixth discovery and the fifth high-impact discovery in Block 2 offshore Tanzania.
The discovery of an additional two to three trillion cubic feet of natural gas in place in the Piri-1 well brings the total of in-place volumes up to approximately 20 tcf in Block 2. One tcf is equivalent to 180 million barrels of oil.
"Since 2012 we have had a 100% success rate in Tanzania and the area has become a core exploration area in a very short period of time," Nick Maden, Senior Vice President for Statoil's exploration activities in the Western Hemisphere said.
Mr. Maden told East African Business Week, "We quickly went from drilling one well to a multi-well programme, and with Piri-1 we are continuing the success."
The new gas discovery was made in the same Lower Cretaceous sandstones as the gas discovery in the Zafarani-1 well drilled in 2012.
The Piri-1 discovery is the venture's sixth discovery in Block 2. It was preceded by the high-impact gas discoveries Zafarani-1, Lavani-1, Tangawizi-1 and Mronge-1, and a discovery in Lavani-2.
Piri-1 was drilled by the drillship Discoverer Americas. The well location is two kilometres southwest of the Lavani-1 well at 2,360-metre water depth.
The Discoverer Americas has now moved location and is currently drilling the Binzari prospect in Block 2.
Additional prospectivity has been mapped and will be tested throughout 2014 and 2015, he said.
"We expect to drill several additional exploration and appraisal wells and hope that the results from these wells will continue to add gas volumes for a future large-scale gas infrastructure development," Maden said.
Statoil operates the licence on Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and has a 65% working interest.
ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Tanzania Limited holds the remaining 35%. Statoil has been in Tanzania since 2007, when it was awarded the operatorship for Block 2.
Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof. Sospeter Muhongo said that the government is pleased to learn about additional gas resources discovered in Block 2.