Statoil has farmed down a 25% working interest in its operated exploration licence offshore Mozambique to Japanese based INPEX Mozambique, a wholly owned subsidiary of INPEX Corp.
The licence, which consists of two blocks, under one licence agreement, is located in areas 2 and 5 offshore Mozambique in the Rovuma basin.
ENI has led a string of discoveries offshore Mozambique, most recently another new gas discovery in the Mamba Complex, increasing the potential of its Coral dicovery to 13 tcf plus of gas in place.
Wood Mackenzie has estimated that there is at least 80tcf recoverable off Mozambique. The large amounts of gas in the area have led to the potential for LNG exports from the country, with US independent Anadarko working up plans already.
The involvement of Inpex brings with it the firm's experience in large-scale LNG - it is operator of the Australian Ichthys LNG project and is a partner in Shell's Prelude FLNG project.
Last month Statoil said it had allocated the Discoverer Americas drillship to East Africa to perform exploration drilling in in Tanzania and Mozambique.
"The farm-down reflects the attractiveness of Statoil's acreage in Mozambique," said Nick Maden, senior vice president in Exploration international in Statoil. "Bringing INPEX onboard allows the companies to diversify geological risk while sharing the potential upside. The first out of two wells in the license will be drilled during 2Q by the drillship Discoverer Americas."
The blocks are located in a frontier area with a water depth varying between 300 and 2,500 metres. The area covers 8,041 square kilometres.
After the farm-in completion, the block will continue to be operated by Statoil Oil & Gas Mozambique with a 40% participating interest, the other partners being INPEX Mozambique, Ltd. (25%), Tullow Mozambique Limited (25%), a subsidiary of Tullow Oil and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, E.P., the Mozambican state oil company (10%).
The commercial terms of the transaction are confidential and it is subject to Mozambican government approval.