Tutapona kweli na kama tukipona kuna kitu kina yakhe tutaambulia au tutaishia tuu kama tulivyofanyiziwa kwenye dhahabu? Dar to Start Petroleum Exploitation in 2012 East African Business Week (Kampala) 25 February 2008 By Daniel Said Dar es Salaam A confirmation of the data now being acquired in off-shore Tanzania has shown that it is possible that commercial production of petroleum oil and gas could be achieved as early as 2012. According to Dr. Philip Nelson, the Director E&P, Petrodel Resources Limited (PRL) with licences in Latham and Kimbiji there have been signs of "flat spots' and "bright spots" which are widespread in the seismic data from Nigeria's Niger Delta, where they are fundamental to the discovery, development, and production of oil and gas. Petrodel Resources Limited has started its 2D seismic survey in the coastal waters of Tanzania. Data gathering began on February 17, 2008 as the specialist survey ship Geo Mariner sailed from Dar es Salaam towards the southern zone of PRL's Latham License. Nelson says more than 900 kilometres new 2D reflection seismic data will be acquired in this survey, the first to be conducted in this area for over 20 years. He said as the survey progresses, the ship will traverse northwards towards PRL's contiguous Kimbiji License in which approximately one third of the new data will be acquired. The Latham and Kimbiji Licenses form part of a single Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) between PRL, as contractor, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) as licensee, and the government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Energy and Minerals. The current design, Nelson says, is based on a thorough analysis of legacy data from as long as 1970. Much of the previous 2D seismic had, as far as is known, never been processed through to "migration," an essential last step in the seismic processing sequence that focuses the data. "PRL have reprocessed much of the legacy data through to "migration", in many instances by transforming paper sections to digital data prior to affecting this important last step in the computer," he says. He said the encouraging results have confirmed the initial interpretation of the data, which suggested the presence of convincing signs on seismic of the presence of accumulated hydrocarbons. PRL expects to begin a similar survey in the offshore sector of its Tanga PSA, also in its second year of the Initial Exploration Period. Different objectives from those in Latham tend to suggest the more likely presence of oil in that area. Apart from Tanzania, PRL is actively engaged in acquiring petroleum exploration licenses elsewhere in East Africa, as well as pursuing opportunities in West Africa and elsewhere to acquire additional exploration or development businesses. Such oil discoveries in Tanzania and East Africa as a whole could significantly alter the region's economic fortunes. Results of recent geological surveys suggest that East Africa may soon become one of the world's hottest oil exploration zones, with data analysed few years ago by Jebco Seismic, a UK-based geophysical contractor, showing major oil deposits off the coasts of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. In addition, the same rock formations now yielding large quantities of oil in Sudan are known to stretch into Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Abundant domestic supplies would eliminate the need for oil imports, thus producing considerable savings for businesses as well as generating ample tax revenues for governments, besides ecological gains. Some of the most encouraging sites in Kenya and Tanzania lie offshore - which would allow shipments to be made much more easily than from fields far upcountry, such as in western Uganda. In addition, technological advances in recent years have prompted experts to take a second look at test results that appeared unpromising a decade or two ago. The source of all these potential deposits is the East African Rift and adjoining formations. While the interior sections of the rift zone consist mainly of volcanic rock, the system has been found to contain several sedimentary basins as well. It is from those onshore and offshore basins that oil would be extracted. Despite lack of serious explorations in Tanzania, records show that oil presence had been noted on Pemba Island in the Indian Ocean as far back as 1977.