Tanzania Signs New Petroleum Bill To Boost Energy Sector

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President Jakaya Kikwete has signed on 4th August, 2015, the Tanzania Petroleum Act 2015 meant to boost the energy sector in the country by ruling it under one single and consolidated legislation.

The Tanzanian energy sector which was until now regulated by nine different documents between policies and acts, will now be ruled by one piece of legislation.

The Petroleum Exploration and Production Act, and the Petroleum Act, from 1980 and 2008 respectively, have been replaced by the new petroleum act to strengthen management in the Energy Sector, explained Tanzanian Minister for Energy and Minerals, George Simbachawene.

The Petroleum Act 2015 is expected to help the local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by not keeping numerous documents in their records.

The new bill will also help to establish the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA) which will be in charge of promotion and management bidding processes, negotiation of production sharing agreements and granting, renewing, suspending, and cancelling petroleum exploration licenses, Minister Simbachawene added.

The transformation of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) to the National Oil Company (NOC), will be also supported by the Petroleum Act 2015 shifting TPDC’s oversee role to one with full participation in exploration and production ın the sector.

According to Tanzanian Finance Minister Saada Salum Mkuya, the new law allows the Government to establish a special fund at the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to effectively manage public revenues from the Energy Sector thanks to a better financial disclosure requirement in the new bill.

Tanzania has positioned itself as a highly prospective energy destination in East Africa with numerous natural gas offshore fields’ discoveries and with a new focus on getting involve in exploration and production, awarding CGG to undertake sounding operations in onshore fields according to a company’s press release.

According to recent estimates Tanzania’s total natural gas reserves stand at 55.08 tcf as of April 2015.