June 14, 2012 / 7:27 AM / 7 years ago

Statoil, ExxonMobil make big gas find off Tanzania

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian oil firm Statoil STL.OL and ExxonMobil (XOM.N) have discovered a large natural gas deposit off the coast of Tanzania and added further resources to another nearby find, Statoil said in a statement on Thursday.

The discovery, Statoil’s seventh major find in just over a year, confirmed 3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas in the Lavani well, 2,400 meters under the sea.

In addition, the firms also added 1 Tcf of gas to an earlier 5 Tcf discovery in the Zafarani sidetrack in the same block just 16 kilometers away, Statoil, the block’s operator said.

“We estimate a value of the discovery plus the upgrade on the Zafarani discovery of NOK 1.3 per share,” Swedbank First Securities said in a note. “We assume a fair share price reaction would be NOK 0.8-1.0 per share,” it added.

The discovery confirms Statoil’s recent track record for solid upstream success after it has made big finds in the mature areas of the North Sea, the Arctic Barents sea, in Brazil and Tanzania.

The block further bolsters east Africa’s hydrocarbon potential following a string of discoveries by oil majors off Mozambique and Tanzania.

Statoil operates the license on 5,500-square-kilometre Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation and holds a 65 percent stake while ExxonMobil Exploration has 35 percent.

Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by James Jukwey

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