Statoil is to resume offshore gas exploration in Tanzania next month.

August 13, 2013 9:09 am0 comments by:

Major gas discoveries have been made offshore in Tanzania making the country to become a potential large gas producer in East Africa.

Statoil and its partner ExxonMobil Exploration have made significant discoveries in Zafarani, Lavani and lately in Tangawizi which account up to 17 Trillion Cubic Feet-TCF of gas deposits.

“We will resume drilling by the end of September,  when we hire another ship to replace the Ocean Ridge that  is now in South Africa where it has been hired by another company” Statoil Communications Manager Genevieve Kasanga  told the Continental Observer that offshore exploration will resume by end of next month.

Kasanga explains that Statoil tried unsuccessfully to get the Ocean Ridge-the ship that drilled the three wells but failed.

“We tried to get back to resume exploration but we failed because it had already been hired to do offshore drilling by another company in South Africa and they turned down our offer” she explains that hiring the ship is very costly to the company.

“They begin charging as soon as you enter into an agreement with the owners and this has financial implications on us” Kasanga explains that the resumption of exploration will create jobs for Tanzanians who will offer catering services.

Kasanga also explains that the company faces another challenge of piracy as they carryout offshore exploration citing an incident that happened on 15th April when a speed boat carrying suspected Somali pirates came close to the area where Statoil was carrying gas exploration.

The discovery of gas has created excitement among the people in Tanzania and also raised hope for the country to have a first Liquefied Natural Gas-LNG project.

But according to Statoil, any hope of setting up a Liquefied   Natural Gas project will not be possible in the next seven years.

Genevieve Kotta Kasanga explains that natural gas is a long term development project which takes a gradual process. She explains that it will take between 7-10 years for commercial production to start in Tanzania because the process involved in it is gradual. She says Tanzania will first need to develop a gas policy and a master plan before commercial production can start.

Kasanaga explains that Statoil’s focus right now is to conduct more offshore prospecting as they gradually move to setup the first Liquefied Natural Gas project in the next seven to ten years.

She says the company will resume offshore prospecting in September.

The discovery of natural gas has raised interests in the country’s gas oil and gas industry and increased prospects for economic development.



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