The government has signed multi-billion shillings production sharing agreements (PSA) with Brazil's Petrobras, Heritage of Britain and India's Motherlands Industries for oil and natural gas exploration in various parts of the country. The Heritage Managing Director, Mr Julian Hewood, expressed optimism for Tanzania to eventually strike oil in Rukwa and Lake Nyasa basin, saying the areas have geological similarities with Uganda'sLake Albert basin."We expect to spend about 15 million US dollars (about 25bn/-) on exploration annually, but we plan to spend more than 10 billion US dollars (about 15tril/-) on oil production if discovered," he said. The company succeeded to discover oil in the Lake Albert rift basin in Uganda. Officials from Tullow Oil, a sister company Heritage had early this month told local media that the oil reserves discovered so far on the Ugandan side of the Lake Albert rift basin were estimated at 1 billion barrels.Mr Samuel Miranda of Petrobras and Virendag Kumar Sood of Motherland said they would spend about 500 million US dollars each for five years on exploration and commended various government institutions for giving maximum co-operation. The representatives of the firms expressed commitment in undertaking environmental friendly exploration in line with the country's law and regulations. The three multi-billion-shilling deals makes the number of licensed companies that have shown interest to undertake gas and oil exploration in the country reach 28.The Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr William Ngeleja, said at the signing ceremony at his office inDar es Salaam, that Petrobras will go for hydrocarbons exploration in Block 8 deep offshore. He said Heritage will undertake the exploration in Kyela Basin in Mbeya Region and northern and onshore portion of Lake Nyasa in Rukwa Region, while Motherlands will explore in Malagarasi River Basin in Kigoma Region.The minister urged the firms to hire local people and ensure that their activities were not harmful to the environment. "I would like to stress the importance of local contents in the oil exploration and production as stated in the agreements which implies use of Tanzanian goods and services as well as human resources," he noted. He said the doors were wide open for other investors to come to Tanzania, particularly in the energy sector. "I wish to invite more local and foreign companies to invest more in exploration for oil and natural gas and establish service companies," he stressed. The signing ceremony was also witnessed by the Brazilian Ambassador, Mr Francisco Carlos Soares Luz. Waziri Ngeleja akibadilishana hati za mkataba na Watafuta Mafuta na gesi mjini Dar es Salaam hapo jana tarehe 24/01/2012 By PIUS RUGONZIBWA, Tanzania Daily News Kaeni mkao wa kuliwa maana kilichopo kwenye hiyo mikataba ni sirikali ya Ngeleja na Watafuta Mafuta....jamaa zangu wa Zanzibar mpoo?!