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Lots of Oil in Lake Tanganyika: Survey

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by Njowepo, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Njowepo

    Njowepo JF-Expert Member

    Aug 30, 2012
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    Wednesday, 29 August 2012 | By Ludger Kasumuni

    An Australian company exploring for oil and gas on the Tanzanian side of Lake Tanganyika could start locating potential sites for drilling huge oil reserves in about six months’ time. Beach Energy says the lake has the potential for large discoveries and there are clear signs of a working petroleum system on the Congolese side.

    The ministry of Energy and Minerals told The Citizen that it was aware of the initial results of the exploration in Lake Tanganyika. The company has an exploration licence for the southern half of Tanzania’s share of Lake Tanganyika. A seismic survey that started in June is nearly complete.

    Beach Energy’s spokesman Chris Jamieson says they are very excited by their findings. “The quality of the data we are getting is excellent,” he said. “What we are seeing is some interesting structures that might contain oil and gas. Our geophysicists are looking at it and going ‘Wow, that looks fantastic and it’s everything we were hoping for’.”

    The exploration block has the potential to contain 200 million barrels of oil, according to the firm. But Jamieson cautions that finding and pumping that oil, at depths of up to one and a half kilometres, will take much longer than in Lake Albert to the north, where production is due to start in 2014.

    The next stage, he says, is identifying the areas of most interest from the data. “That process takes about six months,” he added, “so it won’t be until the end of the first quarter of next year that we can say we’ve got potential targets. “

    The area of greatest interest for oil exploration in Lake Tanganyika is probably on the Congolese side, according to him.

    Mr Jamieson adds: “There is an oil slick, a natural oil seep that sits on the lake on the DRC side. You can actually see it on Google Earth. I think it’s the largest natural oil seep in the world. What that indicates is there is a working petroleum system underneath the lake.” said Jamieson.Unlike Tanzania and Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo has not issued any exploration licences for Lake Tanganyika.

    In 2008, the DRC government signed a joint exploration deal with Tanzania but, according to the International Crisis Group policy think tank, this agreement was never implemented.

    Last year, the Tanzanian Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) sought permission for Beach Energy to enter the Congolese side of the lake to facilitate its exploration on the Tanzanian side. This request has yet to be granted but the DRC government has asked for the request to be re-submitted.

    According to Beach Energy, getting that permission from the DRC had been an issue but it was possible to carry out a survey without entering Congolese waters.

    International Crisis Group says the DRC needs clearer demarcation of its borders on Lake Tanganyika and on other lakes and coastal areas before it can collaborate with its neighbours. But, says Crisis Group analyst Thierry Vircoulon, the DRC has not made this a priority.

    “The DRC has a contentious history with its neighbours and is quite reluctant to get involved in border demarcation work,” said Mr Vircoulon. “It’s also related to the fact that the DRC is late in the oil business in comparison with Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.”

    The DRC has oil-related border disputes with Uganda and Angola. According to Mr Vircoulon, about half of Angola’s oil comes from oil blocks which the DRC officially claims are within its territorial waters.

    Angola has offered Congo a stake in part of this area but two years ago the DRC postponed submitting its experts’ report on the issue until 2014.

    In a recent interview, the DRC’s energy minister Crispin Atama Tabe acknowledged that his country is lagging behind in the oil business. He told journalists this was because the country had been selling concessions to companies that resold them instead of exploring.

    Speaking with The Citizen yesterday, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Mr Fadhili Kilewo, said the ministry was aware of Beach Energy’s offshore oil and gas exploration activities.

    He added: “We are aware of their seismic surveys and initial findings. But it is important to note that oil has yet to be discovered in the country. There are several initial indications, but the seismic surveys are yet to ascertain economic oil reserves.”

    Tanzania now has 20 oil and gas exploration companies conducting deep sea and off-shore exploration activities countrywide.

    Regarding the possibility of a border conflict between DRC and Tanzania similar to the Lake Nyasa situation, Mr Kilewo said it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Lands and Human Settlements Development to negotiate a deal that would avert conflict after oil is discovered.

    My take
    There is a need for close monitoring of these companies making exploration these good news should be sustainable even when you officially discover oil
  2. e

    emalau JF-Expert Member

    Sep 4, 2012
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    Those are good news but what i'm worried about is the the type of contract we are likely to enter with oil companies. In this country we have diamond, gold, gas and now the oil could be imminent. Corruption plays a big roll as far as drafting the contract is concerned, that is why you find politicians becoming millionaires while they have no business record.

    i'm always surprised that we have good law guru such as prof. Shivji but they have never been consulted before signing of the contract to ensure that national interest are being preserved.

    Finally i wish the ongoing oil exploration would not be successful until the current evil group of leadership get out of power.
  3. Maundumula

    Maundumula JF-Expert Member

    Sep 4, 2012
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    Wazee wa 10% wakisikia hii wanaanzisha miradi tu wanajua hela inakuja. Dah!! bongo Daslaam
  4. a

    abunura Member

    Sep 4, 2012
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    sisi tuwe na mafuta zaidi ya saudia basi hayatotufaa sisi bali wataneemeka vigogo tu.