An Anadarko exploration
vessel at work in the
Rovuma Basin off the
coast of Mozambique
 
London, England — 15 May 2012 – U.S. explorer Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has discovered a major new gas field off the Mozambique coast “’ a development which could trigger a bid battle for one of its partners, Cove Energy.

Reuters reports that a company statement issued here said the Golfinho discovery in northern Mozambique might hold more than 20 trillion cubic feet of gas, and would underpin a plan to develop a world class liquefied natural gas export operation in Mozambique.

Houston-based Anadarko’s partners in the find include Japan’s Mitsui and Indian groups Bharat Petroleum and Videocon, as well as UK-listed Cove Energy, whose directors last month agreed a takeover from Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell made a US$1.8 billion bid that included a commitment to cover a tax bill, which Shell’s chief financial officer said pushed the bid’s value to US$2 billion. Shell’s bid trumped a US1.8 billion bid from Thailand’s PTT that had preceded the announcement of the tax liability.

Cove’s shares have traded above Shell’s 220 pence per share bid in recent weeks, after some hedge funds bought into the stock hoping for a counterbid from PTT or another party.

Golfinho is 32km from the partners’ Prosperidade find, which has reserves that could top 30 trillion cubic feet. Anadarko said it hoped to begin LNG exports later this decade.

Big oil companies including Exxon Mobil, Norway’s Statoil and UK-based BG Group have begun exploring along the eastern coast of Africa in recent years, targeted major gas reserves.

Currently Mozambique and Tanzania produce only small volumes of gas.

Source: Reuters. For more information, click here.