MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE: Italian energy company, ENI announced on Wednesday (5 December) a new gas finds off the eastern coast of Mozambique, the third this year, entrenching the country's position as a major emerging gas producer.
"The new discoveries add six trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas to Area 4, confirming at least 68 tcf of gas already discovered," ENI said in a statement.
The total deposit is roughly equal to global production for two years, or the known reserves of Kuwait.
ENI has a controlling share in the Mozambican gas venture with Portugal's Galp Energia, South Korea's KOGAS and Mozambican state Hydrocarbon Company (ENH), each holding 10 percent.
Recent gas finds by ENI and Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum in the Rovuma Basin have increased Mozambique's prospects as a major natural gas exporter.
Authorities say the country could earn as much as US$5bn per year in gas exports by 2025, but exports have yet to begin.
Anadarko said it will begin selling gas from Mozambique in 2018.
Mozambique lies at the southern tip of a fault line running along the east African coast to Somalia, forming a geologically inviting region for natural gas that has become the focus of an exploration boom in recent years.
The country is currently considering a new legislative framework for the gas sector but lacks a coherent plan to manage its potential windfall.
Mozambique's reserves are believed to be enough to justify the construction of at least ten liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, but so far no plants have been built.
there is speculation that ENI and Anadarko are planning to build an LNG plant.
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