Government reveals four new oil and gas fields with high drilling potential

Energy Minister Medard Kalemani speaks during a conference of oil and gas service providers in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO I ANTHONY SIAME

Dar es Salaam. The government has outlined four areas that have high potential for natural gas discoveries and is calling for investors to conduct further studies.

Energy minister Medard Kalemani told the Oil and Gas Congress 2019 yesterday the areas include Ntoria, Western Songosongo, North Mnazi bay and Ruvu.

“The areas have the potential of generating at least 5.2 trillion cubic feet (5.2tcf) after exploration and drilling activities,” he said.

He said Ruvu alone has potential of at least 2tcf, Ntoria with 1.6tcf, Western Songosongo with1.3tcf, and North Mnazi bay with 0.3tcf.

If discovered, the new findings will raise Tanzania’s natural gas discoveries from the current 57.5tcf, making the country’s total natural gas reserves to 62.7tcf.

“The investments are not only for exploration and drilling new wells, but also in the available natural gas. We want more investors in the sector to increase the consumption because it is still in very low pace,” he said.

According to him, only one per cent of the discovered natural gas (57.5tcf) has been consumed in the past 15 years.

The call for the investors to the natural gas sector comes at a time when the government wa reviewing its 1997 Investment Act, with a bill scheduled for reading in Parliament next month (November, 2019).

Speaking in the same event, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Investment Angellah Kairuki said her office has already drafted the bill that is expected to be tabled in the Parliament next month for further discussions.

“I cannot tell in details about the bill now, but it shortly meant to create conducive environment and attracting investors and businesses,” she said.

According to her, the government is currently reviewing the existing Investment Policy so that it match with the new Investment Act.

“I want to assure you (delegates of the congress) that our policies and laws are very conducive and predictable so come and invest,” she said.

She added that, the government is also now drafting an Action Facilitation Bill that will be used in implementing the Blueprint document for regulatory reforms to improve the business environment.

“We have decided to form a single law unit (Act) that will implement regulatory reforms as suggested in the Blueprint. This is different from the earlier plan which wanted the ministries to come up with their own regulatory reforms laws,” she said.

According to her, the former plan could take too long time to implement the Blueprint.

In another development, the government is planning to pay Sh5.07 billion as compensations to people reside where the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project is expected to be constructed.

The plant is expecting to be constructed in Lindi, covering a total of 2077 square hectors, whereby the government has revoked ownership of seven farms, which were found within the plot’s boundaries.

Mr Felix Nanguka a manager of LNG project from Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) said total of 693 individuals will be compensated before the end of this year.