Tanzania grants Total SA rights for oil, gas search



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Sep 4, 2011


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Monday, 05 September 2011 08:26 Doreen David

The Tanzania t Government has granted the French energy company Total SA the rights to search for oil and gas in Lake Tanganyika along the western arm of Great Lift Valley.

The location lies south of Uganda's oil finds where a billion barrels of oil have been discovered in neighboring Uganda.
According to the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) the firm was able to score the award following the demonstration of its finance and technological capabilities over the other bidders to undertake exploration in the Lake Tanganyika.

Halfani, R. Halfani, Director of Exploration, Production and Technical Services of TPDC told The East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam that Total E&P has shown the capabilities to comply with the minimum work commitment on research and exploration of the oil and gas.
He said "following the award TPDC have invited Total E&P to a negotiating table to ensure it implements the planned project."
"We expect to start negotiation in September 2011 and we expect that the negotiations will cement the footprints for oil and gas development in Tanzania".

Speaking on the safety of the project, Mr. Halfani said that there will be no negative impact that will happen on Lake Tanganyika, following the implementation of the project for there will be various surveys conducted before the implementation, which include airborne geographical data acquisition survey, shipborne geophysical survey and exploration drilling survey.

He said that before the surveys are carried out as per the laws of the land, an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) study will be undertaken, and necessary mitigation measure committed. In any case such surveys have been conducted in the past, in this area and in similar areas, and there has been no impact.

"Environmental and social impact assessment studies will be undertaken to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. If a discovery is made and production agreed, an ESIA for production will also be undertaken, before development drilling and production are undertaken," he explained.
However, he said "We need to establish first the volumes of oil and gas in Lake, if it will be commercial value or not, it will to release the pinch nagging Tanzania in recent years". He said

Spurred by oil discoveries in Uganda as well as gas discoveries off the Tanzanian Indian Ocean coast, interest in the country's hydro carbon sector has been on the rise.
Besides of Total SA (FP) the Government has invited an Australian company, Beach Energy, who already are operating the southern part of the Lake since June last year, which is conducting airborne surveys and will be embarking on the ship-borne surveys later this year.

Exploration companies already licensed in Tanzania include Royal Dutch Shell PLC's, Shell International, Orca Exploration Group Inc, Dominion Gas and Oil Ltd, Tullow Oil PLC and Tower Resources PLC.
In Tanzania, natural gas production continues at Songo Songo island and Mnazi Bay in southern Tanzania coastal areas. Discussions are underway to join the Kiliwani gas field to the Songo Songo processing plant, which will enable Kiliwani gas to come to the market in Dar es Salaam.

source: http://www.busiweek.com/11/news/tanzania/1646-tanzania-grants-total-sa-rights-for-oil-gas-search

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