* Could be one of biggest gas finds in a decade
* Reserves could be three times last estimate
* LNG plan advances
LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - U.S. oil company Anadarko Petroleum said its major gas finds offshore Mozambique were actually twice as large as it earlier thought, adding support to hopes that East Africa will become another major gas production centre.
Anadarko said on Monday that the results of its Barquentine-3 appraisal well showed its fields had recoverable reserves of 15 to over 30 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas -- compared to total UK gas reserves of 9 Tcf, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
“This could be one of the most important natural gas fields discovered in the last 10 years,” said Anadarko Chairman Jim Hackett.
Previously, Anadarko said the fields, in which Japan’s Mitsui & Co Ltd and Dublin-based Cove Energy Plc have stakes, held “at least 10 Tcf” of gas.
Anadarko said the results supported its plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Mozambique.
Explorers see Anadarko’s finds as evidence of a trend of oil and gas fields extending along the East Coast of Africa -- a region not seen in previous decades as having good exploration prospects.
This theory has drawn a rash of other companies to the area including Britain’s BG Group Plc, Italy’s Eni SpA , Norway’s Statoil ASA and Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp.