December 5, 2012 / 11:00 AM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Eni finds more gas in Mozambique

* Gas in place at Mozambique field now 75 tcf

* Plans to drill two more wells

* Mamba is Eni’s biggest ever exploration find

MILAN, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Italy’s Eni announced new discoveries at its major gas field in Mozambique on Wednesday with potential for even more as it looks to Africa to boost its production.

In a statement Eni said new discoveries at its Mamba field in Mozambique had added 6 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, taking the full potential of the Mamba Complex to 75 tcf of gas in place.

The Mozambique complex is the largest in Eni’s exploration history.

In the last year Eni has dispelled some concern about its profitability and long-term growth potential by sealing a deal with Russia’s Rosneft and scoring exploration successes in Norway as well as Mozambique.

Eni said it plans to drill at least two further wells to assess the full potential of the Mamba Complex discoveries.

The state-controlled major is operator in the Area 4 field with a 70 percent stake and has said it is prepared to bring on board partners to help fund the estimated $50 billion it will take to bring the field to production.

Other partners are Portugal’s Galp Energia, Korea’s KOGAS, and Mozambique’s ENH.

Italian broker Mediobanca has valued the whole Mamba field at around $17.2 billion.

The gas fields discovered by U.S. explorer Anadarko and Eni off the coast of Mozambique have pushed East Africa into the limelight as a new hydrocarbon region, attracting the interest of major oil firms.

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