Statoil makes major gas find off Tanzania

Norwegian oil group Statoil and US company ExxonMobil have together discovered a large natural gas field off the coast of Tanzania, Statoil announced on Friday.

The field's gas reserves are estimated at about 140 billion cubic metres, it said.

The size of the deposit could turn out to be bigger, since the field's exact contours have not yet been fully determined and exploratory drilling is still underway, Statoil spokesman Bård Glad Pedersen told AFP.

"The well has encountered 120 metres of excellent quality reservoir with high porosity and high permeability. The gas-water contact has not been established and drilling operations are on-going," the company said in a statement.

This is Statoil's fifth major oil or gas discovery in the past year, after large fields were found in the North and Barents seas and off of Brazil.

Statoil, which holds the operating licence off Tanzania, owns 65 percent of the field and ExxonMobil 35 percent. Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation will be entitled to 10 percent of the project once it enters into operation, Statoil said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


‘Call me Equinor’: Statoil changes name

Norway's largest oil company Statoil officially changed its name to Equinor on Wednesday as it forges ahead with its drive into renewable energy.

'Call me Equinor': Statoil changes name
CEO Eldar Sætre presents the name change in Stavanger. Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB Scanpix

Proposed in March and adopted on Tuesday at the shareholders' general meeting, the name change allows the company to take a step back — at least in name — from the Norwegian state, which owns 67 percent of its shares, and from oil. 

Equinor is meant to combine the idea of equity and equilibrium (“equi”) and geographical origin (“nor”) for Norway.

Founded in 1972 to operate Norway's large oil fields, the company — which is listed on both the Oslo and New York stock exchanges — is now active in renewable energies, including wind farms off the UK coast.

The group has earmarked 15-20 percent of its investments to “new energy solutions” by 2030.

But this shift has been cold shouldered by environmentalists concerned about global warming as they accuse the company of “green washing”.

“Statoil name change to attract young talent will not be sufficient as long as Equinor is exploring in vulnerable areas, such as the Arctic or the Great Australian Bight,” tweeted Truls Gulowsen, leader for Greenpeace in Norway.

READ ALSO: Norway pledges to spend less oil money in new budget