Dar es Salaam. Tanzania has utilised only one percent of its discovered natural gas due to absence of large-scale industries requiring the use of natural gas and demand for other uses.
This is according to the acting director general of Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (Pura), Mr Charles Sangweni, who said only 0.6 trillion cubic feet have been harnessed.
Tanzania is home to 57.54 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in both mainland and deep sea. The government signed some eleven production sharing agreements (PSA) for exploration, development and production of oil and gas.
According to Mr Sangweni, three of the contracts are in production stage while eight contracts are in various exploration stages.
Mr Sangweni was briefing some achievements in the energy sector after 60 years of independence.
He said the regulatory environment and contracts in the oil and gas industry have changed compared to the period before independence when the then Tanganyika used to have mutual understanding agreements with investors.
“In 1952 there was only one drilled and functioning well under the Esso Petroleum Company and Agip Group which were operating with just a mutual understanding agreement. We are now talking about 44 wells with natural gas discovery, out of 96 oil wells drilled in the country,” he said.
According to Mr Sangweni, the discovery of offshore and deep sea gas is 57.54 trillion cubic feet (10.06 trillion inland and 47.48 trillion marine tracts).
These include areas like Songo Songo (discovered in 1974), Mnazi Bay (1982), Mkuranga (2007), Kiliwani North (2008), Ntorya (2012) and Deep Sea (2010).
He also said; “approximately 534,000 square kilometres have been surveyed.”
He said there is also an increased local participation in the upstream petroleum activities and in improvement of cost audit activities in PSA Contracts where currently 9 of 10 audits have been completed.
According to Sangweni these audits have so far saved about Sh90 billion.