OIL & GAS DISCOVERIES OFF MADAGASCAR COAST

HUGE DEPOSITS OF OIL & GAS FOUND OFF THE COAST OF MOZAMBIQUE


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Anadarko Petroleum, the US oil and gas independent, has more than doubled the estimated size of its biggest natural gas discovery, located off the coast of Mozambique.

“This could be one of the most important natural gasfields discovered in the last 10 years,’’ Jim Hackett, Anadarko’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.

Mr Hackett said the Barquentine-3 appraisal well encountered more than 662 net feet of natural gas pay. That expanded the estimated recoverable resource range to 15 to 30 plus trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, with an estimated 30 to 50 plus Tcf of natural gas in place.

Anadarko has not released how much it plans to invest but the size of the find indicates it could easily surpass $10bn over the life of the field. “There is no question this will be a commercial project,’’ Mr Hackett said.

The well is in the same offshore Mozambique deepwater in which Eni, the Italian oil group, said in late October it had made an extensive gas discovery. Eni estimated the size of its find at 15,000bn-20,000bn cubic feet. The well was then deepened, and Eni put the size at 22,500bn cubic feet.

Anadarko, which has drilled six successful wells in the area, has a working interest of 36.6 per cent in 2.6m-acre field known as Offshore Area 1. It has five junior partners with Mitsui E&P Mozambique holding 20 per cent.

Anadarko said it will be accelerating its drilling programme with two dedicated rigs. “We will be advancing this very aggressively,’’ Mr Hackett said.

The exploration and appraisal will determine the ultimate size of recoverable resources but Mr Hackett said the target was to begin construction in 2013 with a goal to bring the resources to market in 2018.

Anadarko is planning a large liquefied natural gas (LNG) development to support the field. It is being designed to consist of at least two trains – facilities to liquefy the gas – with the flexibility to expand to six.

The announcement follows Anadarko’s agreement last month to pay $4bn to BP to settle claims related to the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an attempt to draw a line under the disaster. The spill had weighed on the company, which was a junior partner in that well.

While Anadarko had compartmentalised the risk and continued a strong exploration programme that has yielded significant finds in recent years, ranging from west Africa to Brazil to the US, the uncertainty over how much it would be forced to commit to Macondo claims had kept investors from fully valuing its pipeline of development projects.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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