NORWAY’S Statoil has hit gas offshore Tanzania – its eighth discovery in the region after drilling 13 wells, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration in the Western Hemisphere, Nick Maden, said.

In a company announcement, Nick Maden said the discovery of gas at the Mdalasini 1 exploration well marked the completion of the first phse of a multi-well exploration program, which had started in February 2012.

“We still see prospectivity in the area, but after appraising the Tangawizi-1 high-impact discovery, which was made in March 2013, there will be a pause in the drilling to evaluate the next steps and to mature new prospects,” Mr Maden said.

The Mdalasini 1 discovery, made at a depth of 2,296 metres at the southernmost end of Tanzania’s Block 2, added between 1 trillion cubic feet and 1.8 Tcf to reserves – lifting the total at the block to about 22 Tcf.

Statoil has drilled the Mdalasini 1 well with a 100 per cent working interest.

Previously Statoil and co-venturer ExxonMobil have made seven discoveries in Block 2, including the five high-impact gas discoveries Zafarani 1, Lavani 1, Tangawizi 1, Mronge 1 and Piri 1, as well as the discoveries in Lavani 2 and Gilligiliani 1.

Statoil operates the licence on Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and has a 65% working interest – awarded to it when it took operatorship of the block in 2007.

ExxonMobil holds the remaining 35%. TPDC has the right to a 10% working interest in case of a development phase.