A fifth major gas discovery has been made off the coast of Tanzania.

ExxonMobil and Statoil confirmed the new find, of around 2-3trillion cubic feet of gas, in the Mronge well off the coast of the East African country.

The latest find alone would be equivalent to the whole UK gas consumption for a year, and brings the total discovered in one exploration block off Tanzania to around 20 trillion cubic feet.

“These are high value resources,” said Statoil exploration vice president Nick Maden.

“The attractiveness is also demonstrated by a recent asset transaction in the neighboring block.”

The find, in two levels at 2500m of water, was made 20km north of the Zafarani discovery, which kickstarted the Tanzanian gas rush for the block last year.

The first level of gas was in an area similar to the giant Zafarani discovery, with a second, younger reservoir also discovered by the drillship Discoverer Americas.

The latest find would be equivalent to more than half a billion barrels of oil.

Appraisal work on the quality of the finds is now set to get underway, said Maden.

“The Mronge-1 well discovered additional gas volumes and furthers the potential for a natural gas development in Tanzania,” he said.

“The new drilling program also allows us to fully explore the remaining exploration potential in Block 2.”