What you need to know:
- Since the start of oil and gas exploration in Tanzania, a total of 96 wells have been drilled so far and 44 of them turned successful with natural gas worth 57.4 trillion cubic feet.
Unguja. Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar will no longer oversee oil and gas sector jointly. Prior to that, oil and gas was a Union matter overseen by the United Republic of Tanzania. However, after the recent development Zanzibar will be independent from Tanzania Mainland in the matter.
Zanzibar yesterday received its oil and gas data from Tanzania Mainland, allowing the Indian Ocean archipelago to go ahead with the search for exploration investors independently.
Oil and gas was one of the contentious Union matters which have taken long to resolve but yesterday event marked a new chapter in which Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar will manage the industry separately.
Energy minister January Makamba and Zanzibar’s Blue Economy and Fisheries minister Suleiman Masoud Makame signed and exchanged a transmittal document during a function held at Zanzibar State House.
Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi, who attended the signing ceremony, described the handing over of the petroleum seismic data – which contain images of the subsurface in both land and marine environments – as a historic milestone for both sides.
“We have been waiting for a long time to resolve this matter. This is both a legal and political milestone,” said Dr Mwinyi.
“We are now going ahead to drill oil in Zanzibar because all signs areb there,” he added.
Dr Mwinyio thanked Retired President Jakaya Kikwete and retired Zanzibar President Ali Mohammed Shein, who agreed to drop oil and gas from the list of Union matters.
Oil and gas are important component in Zanzibar’s blue economy policy, which is touted by Dr Mwinyi.
The data held by the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (Pura) were transferred to Zanzibar Petroleum Regulatory Authority (ZPRA).
Since the start of oil and gas exploration in Tanzania, a total of 96 wells have been drilled so far and 44 of them turned successful with natural gas worth 57.4 trillion cubic feet.
The wells include two drilled in Zanzibar-Pemba block which Dr Mwinyi said contain 3.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Mr Makamba said the data were important in the exploration of oil and gas as they give investors a picture of the area and the kind technology and investment needed.
He said the data handed to Zanzibar yesterday included the blocks number 9, 10, 11, 12 and the Zanzibar-Pemba block.
According to him, the data covered exploration activities since 1950 in both Deep Sea and in the lands.
He said the data include 2D seismic data for 139,000 square kilometres and 3D seismic data for 32,094 square kilometres.
“We have now reached a great milestone on oil and gas exploration,” said Mr Makamba adding that each side of the union will now manage their respective extractive resources.
On the other hand, Mr Makame said the received data will make Zanzibar’s exploration more practical.
“Investors have been coming and leave because we had no data. Receiving them is an impetus towards growing Zanzibar through blue economy,” he said