What you need to know:
- In October 2019, the state-owned Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) announced it was embarking on a Sh2 billion oil exploration projects in the corridor.
Arusha. There is no contention over the presence of oil in Tanzania, it was revealed on Monday.
Wells drilled in the Wembere-Eyasi basin have indicated the corridor was rich in hydrocarbon resources.
“Prospecting will continue, but signs of oil presence are there,” affirmed the managing director of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, Mr James Mataragio.
He revealed this shortly after the minister for Energy, Mr January Makamba, challenged the board to spearhead the oil and gas economy.
Dr Mataragio said geological mapping was underway along the entire stretch of the Wembere-Eyasi basin.
The narrow stretch along the borderlines of Arusha, Manyara, Singida, Simiyu and Tabora regions has been a scene of oil exploration for years.
In October 2019, the state-owned Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) announced it was embarking on a Sh2 billion oil exploration projects in the corridor.
The exploration involved drilling of three oil wells with 300 metres depth each in the basin covering 19,197 square kilometre.
The wells were drilled at Kining’inila Village in Igunga District and at Meatu in Simiyu region and Iramba in Singida region.
Dr Mataragio said rift valley basins in the eastern Africa region have always had signals of oil and other hydrocarbon resources.
“Kenya has discovered oil in Turkana lake, Uganda in Lake Albert, all in the Rift Valley,” he told journalists.
The shared Lake Tanganyika and Lake Rukwa on the western arm of the Great Rift Valley also have high potentials of oil.
Launching the board at Gran Melia Arusha, the minister urged it to assist the government develop the oil and gas sector.
This would fall in tandem with TPDC’s mandate when the parastatal body was established in 1969 through a government order.
“I have directed the board to leave no stone unturned to transform this key component of the energy sector,”he pointed out.
Mr Makamba specifically said natural gas should not be produced for local consumption but also for the export market.
Tanzania has an estimated 57 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, mostly off shore, in the Lindi region.
Out of these, 43 trillion cubic feet are recoverable while 23 to 25 trillion cubic feet qualify for commercial exploitation.
The new board chair Ambassador Ombeni Sifue outlined major projects ahead of them, saying they will work hard to ensure success.
These include the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project expected to cost about $ 40 billion (about Sh 70 trillion) and the Mnazi Bay Gas Project.
Another is the $ 3.5 billion crude oil pipeline project from Hoima in western Ugandan oil fields to the port of Tanga.
The 1,445 kilometre long pipeline will be constructed under the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) involving the two countries.