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Could these be coming to the waters off the Comoros islands?
For years, the Comoros islands off the east coast of Africa have dreamt of an oil or gas strike—now the first planned seismic survey could reveal if the poverty-stricken nation's hopes are about to come true.
Possibility - Resources - Boom - Comoros - Years
The possibility of a lucrative resources boom has gripped Comoros for seven years after then-president Ikililou Dhoinine awarded a batch of offshore oil and gas exploration permits.
Optimistic residents imagined a future where public coffers overflowed with petrodollars that funded a rapid economic transformation of a country rated among the 25 poorest in the world.
Miracle - Clues - Oil - Gas - Deposits
But any economic miracle has yet to materialise, with only uncertain clues pointing to possible oil or gas deposits 2,000 metres (6,600 feet) below sea level—far beyond the financial means of small-scale exploration companies.
The arrival last year of Tullow Oil changed the game, as the British company boosts a strong record striking deposits in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya.
Partner - Discover - Exploration - Underwater - Blocks
It has joined up with partner Discover Exploration to explore three underwater blocks covering 16,000 square kilometres (6,200 square miles).
"We are gearing up for a modern 3D seismic survey," Alexander Mollinger, chief operating officer for Discovery Exploration in Comoros, told AFP.
Comoros - Survey - Investment - Exploration - Activity
"This will be the Comoros' first ever 3D seismic survey and represents a significant investment. It is the final exploration activity prior to deciding whether to drill an exploration well."
Survey - Year - Prospectors - Reason - Blocks
With the survey scheduled for later this year, the prospectors have reason to be confident—the three blocks border on Mozambican waters where US giants Anadarko and Chevron, and Italian firm ENI have hit the largest gas deposits found in the past 20 years.
"There have been no oil or gas discoveries anywhere in the Comoros," said Mollinger.
Certainty - Accumulations - Oil
"There is no certainty of any commercial accumulations of oil...
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