French energy company Total SA currently Europe’s third biggest oil company, won the bid in 2011 and has been awarded with Oil and Gas Exploration Rights for the northern side of Lake Tanganyika.
Lake Tanganyika is shared between Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and Zambia.
State-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has divided the Tanzanian side of Lake Tanganyika into two blocks with the southern portion awarded to Australia’s Beach Energy.
Following the time needed for proper demarcation of blocks using additional new seismic data to explore water depth, the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Sospeter Muhongo has affirmed that permits will be issued to the giant oil firm in the next few months.
He then noted that the exploration block has the potential to contain 200 million barrels of oil and Tanzania plans to create a sovereign wealth fund that will use growing oil and gas revenue to finance development projects in the country.
To this regard, the government has just completed a second draft policy document for the gas industry that’s aimed at improving revenue management and will soon be voted by the Parliament.
With major Discoveries of Oil and Natural Gas in Tanzania and the neighboring countries, interest in East Africa as a new Hydrocarbon Region has been heating up in the last few years.