Oil & Gas: India signals interest in Tanzania’s fifth licensing round

The Acting Director General of Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA), Eng Danstan Asanga (first right), elucidates the intricacies of the fifth licensing round during a high-level engagement with a delegation from the High Commission of India in Tanzania. Leading the delegation the Second Secretary to the High Commissioner (Commerce), Mr. Narender Kumar (first left). The meeting was held on May 14, 2024, at PURA offices in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • A delegation from the Indian High Commission in Dar es Salaam held talks with officials from the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority on May 14, 2024 about Tanzanian government’s plans to auction oil and gas blocks with the expectation being that the information gathered would be helpful to potential investors from the sub-Continent  

Dar es Salaam. The High Commission of India in Tanzania has met and held talks with the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (Pura) to gather more information about the auctioning of petroleum exploration blocks in mainland Tanzania to be conducted this year.

The talks took place on May 14, 2024, and were attended by the Second Secretary to the High Commissioner (Commerce), Mr Narender Kumar, and the acting director general of Pura, Mr Danstan Asanga.

Speaking during the meeting, Mr Kumar explained that upon learning of the government’s plan to auction oil and gas blocks through the budget speech of the Ministry of Energy for the year 2024/25, the Indian Embassy deemed it necessary to meet with the relevant authorities to thoroughly understand the matter and provide comprehensive information to companies and stakeholders in India.

“We hope that companies from India will be interested in this information, which is why we have decided to seek further details that will enable them to make decisions to participate in the forthcoming bidding and ultimately invest in oil and gas exploration and production activities in Tanzania,” added Mr Kumar.

Providing details about the fifth licensing round, Mr Asanga explained that Pura, on behalf of the government, has continued with preparations for the event and that several activities have been completed, including the preparation of the Model Production Sharing Agreement, which was submitted to the ministry of Energy for further action.

Other activities include the demarcation of the blocks to be auctioned after obtaining approval from the ministry of Energy and the preparation of petroleum data packages.

Additionally, Mr Asanga noted that a review of the Petroleum Act of 2015 is underway to identify sections requiring amendments and that Pura is participating in the review.

Regarding the timing of the bidding process, Mr Asanga stated that the auctioning of blocks will take place shortly after the completion of preliminary preparations, including the review of the Petroleum Act of 2015, and that the government plans to launch the fifth licensing round this year.

In addition to discussing the fifth licensing round, the High Commission of India in Tanzania and Pura also explored the possibility of establishing cooperation between oil and gas exploration and production regulatory authorities in Tanzania and India.

They also discussed the possibility of collaborating on capacity-building programmes for personnel in the field of oil and natural gas through funding from the government of India.