Energy Voice | Trio of explorers aim to hit East Africa gas jackpot again

A trio of oil executives who hit the jackpot with a gas find off Mozambique have long believed they can repeat that success not far from their original discovery. Now financial backing from seasoned Africa explorer Tullow Oil Plc has given them the firepower to take another shot.

Tullow on Thursday said it would take a stake in blocks off the Comoros islands from Discover Exploration Ltd., led by John Craven, Michael Blaha and Michael Nolan. The three formerly ran Cove Energy, which held a stake in Mozambique’s Rovuma block and jumped 20-fold in value after the giant discovery there.

Cove sold for $1.9 billion in 2012 and the trio returned not long after as Discover Exploration, with a production-sharing agreement in Comoros, an East African nation located right by the Rovuma Basin.

Discover’s principal shareholders include Carlyle International Energy Partners and ONH BV. Its farm-out of the offshore blocks brings it a step closer to drilling following a 3D seismic survey planned for next year. Tullow, which has extensive deep-water drilling experience in Africa, estimates the blocks could hold gross unrisked resources of as much as 7 billion barrels of oil.

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