US oil and gas explorer Anadarko Petroleum has made a new gas discovery in the Golfinho exploration well within Offshore Area 1 within the Rovuma Basin, offshore Mozambique.

The well, which was drilled to a depth of 14,885ft in water depths of about 3,370ft, encountered more than 193 net feet of natural gas pay in two high-quality Oligocene fan systems.

"Once operations are complete at Golfinho, the Fred Olsen drillship Belford Dolphin will be mobilised to drill the Atum-1 exploration well."

Bob Daniels, Anadarko senior vice president for worldwide exploration, said the success of the Golfinho well significantly expands the resource potential of the Offshore Area 1 in the deep-water Rovuma Basin, with additional opportunities yet to be tested.

"The Golfinho discovery, which is entirely contained within the Offshore Area 1 block, adds an estimated 7 to 20-plus trillion cubic feet of incremental recoverable resources over a significant areal extent," said Daniels.

"This new discovery is only ten miles offshore, providing potential cost advantages for future development options.

"We look forward to continuing an active exploration program in the highly prospective northern and southern portions of the Offshore Area 1, as well as delineating this new discovery."

Once operations are complete at Golfinho, the Fred Olsen drillship Belford Dolphin will be mobilised to drill the Atum-1 exploration well.

Anadarko is the operator of the 2.6 million acre Offshore Area 1, with a 36.5% working interest.

Other partners include Mitsui E&P Mozambique Area 1 with a 20% stake, BPRL Ventures Mozambique and Videocon Mozambique Rovuma 1, which have a ten percent interest each, Cove Energy Mozambique Rovuma Offshore with an 8.5% interest and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, which has a 15% equity interest in the project.