* New Mozambique discovery may hold over 20 Tcf of gas
* Partner Cove has agreed bid by Shell, others seen
By Tom Bergin
LONDON, May 15 U.S. explorer Anadarko Petroleum
Corp has discovered a major new gas field offshore
Mozambique in a move that could stoke a bid battle for one of
its partners, Cove Energy.
Anadarko said on Tuesday the Golfinho discovery in northern
Mozambique may hold more than 20 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of
gas, and would underpin a plan to develop a world class
liquefied natural gas export operation in Mozambique.
Houston-based Anadarko's partners in the find include
Japan's Mitsui and Indian groups Bharat Petroleum
and Videocon, as well as UK-listed Cove
Energy, whose directors last month agreed a takeover from Royal
Shell made a $1.8 billion bid that includes a commitment to
cover a tax bill, which Shell's Chief Financial Officer said
pushed the bid's value to $2 billion.
Shell's bid trumped a $1.8 billion bid from Thailand's PTT
that preceded the announcement of the tax liability.
Cove's shares have traded above Shell's 220 pence per share
bid in recent weeks, after some hedge funds bought into the
stock hoping for a counterbid from PTT or another party.
Golfinho is 32 kilometres from the partners' Prosperidade
find, whose reserves could top 30 Tcf. Anadarko said it hopes to
begin LNG exports later this decade.
Big oil companies including Exxon Mobil, Norway's Statoil,
UK-based BG Group have begun exploring along the eastern coast
of Africa in recent years, targeted major gas reserves.
Currently Mozambique and Tanzania produce only small volumes