Shell with its partners, Pavilion Energy and Ophir Energy, said it will start the drilling program covering two wells in Block 1 and 4, located in the Mafia Deep basin off Tanzania.
The development of Blocks 1 and 4 is part of the Tanzania LNG project, and according to Shell, the investment in the drilling program will be close to US$80 million.
The rig supporting the program, the Noble Globe Trotter 2, was expected to commence operations towards the end of October 2016 and will be drilling in waters up to 2300 meters deep.
The two wells will meet the remaining exploration requirements as per the exploration licenses issued by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM). Shell became the operator of the two blocks in February 2016, after its combination with BG Group and has since been working with MEM and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) on developing the wells.
Together with its Block 1 and 4 partners, as well as partners of the Block 2, and TPDC Shell is looking to develop the Tanzania LNG project.
Shell stressed that under the current investment climate, the industry change and low oil prices, the project requires strong fundamentals, as well as government support and cooperation.