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New ZANZIBAR and Mainland TANZANIA in dispute over oil and natural gas Exploration

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by nngu007, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Mar 29, 2011
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    Reports appearing in local media revealed that Zanzibar has triggered fresh confrontation and dispute with the union government over what it calls unnecessary delays in the removal of oil related matters from the Union Article established in 1964. The country has yet to confirm the commercial viability of the recently discovered deposits, though.

    The Article of the Union is the document establishing the United Republic of Tanzania - - uniting the then Tanganyika {mainland} and Zanzibar {Isles}, which came into effect on April 26,1964.

    The Article, approved by the then President Julius Kambarage Nyerere {Tanganyika} and Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume {Zanzibar}, lists matters falling under the union government, which apart from oil, includes finance, international affairs, defense and security. higher education, and home affairs.
    The media report quoted Ismail Jussa Ladhu, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Isles main opposition party, the Civic United Front {CUF}, as having told newsmen that Zanzibar expected President Jakaya Kikwete's government to resolve the matter in a timey fashion.

    Jussa Ladhu, who is also sits in the Union Parliament representing Stone Town constituency, said that after Zanzibar’s House of Representatives passed the Bill approving the matter, the Chief Minister of Zanzibar wrote to the Prime minister of the Union on the issue, ”but nothing has been done.”

    “The government’s slowness is preventing the Zanzibar government from undertaking any substantial decision on oil and natural gas exploration across the Isles,” he said.

    It is estimated that the on-going oil exploration could take up to seven years to complete.

    However, a source, close to the Zanzibar President’s office, is reported to have said that the semi-autonomous government has continued to restrict exploration companies from carrying out activities regardless of their possession of operational licenses.

    Zanzibar would like to see oil produced offshore, onshore and in deep sea under Block 8-12 managed solely for the benefits of the Isles

    Under the existing petroleum Act of 1980,Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation {TPDC} is the only body mandated to license, monitor, and supervise exploration and production of oil and natural gas on the entire territory of Tanzania - - Zanzibar included - - whether offshore, onshore or deep sea.

    However, for a number of years, Zanzibar politicians have been expressing discontent over TPDC’s monopoly power over Zanzibar, on the grounds that its establishment did not satisfy the requirements of bodies meant to cover both the Mainland and Zanzibar.

    A Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office Responsible On the Union Matters, Samia Suluhu Hassan, was quoted by the influential Weekly the EASTAFRICAN this week as saying that the removal of oil and natural gas from the list of Union matters was being dealt with by “higher authorities” and therefore was no longer being discussed in the inter-sector meetings that review Union challenges periodically.

    The latest meeting took place on March 19, 2011, Hassan said, adding that the resolution of the matter is long over due.

    Exploration carried on by Antrim Energy of Canada shows that the Pemba-Zanzibar block has a proven hydrocarbon system as evidenced by Tandaua oil seep on Pemba Island, and oil shows in previous exploration wells. Multiple source rocks and petroleum reserves are anticipated and numerous projects mapped.

    There are 17 oil and gas exploration companies carrying out exploration in Tanzania, mainly in the deep sea and along the coastal areas.