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Zanzibar Unveils 1st Oil and Gas Licensing Round, Invites Global Investors

Zanzibar 1st Oil Gas Licensing Round

On March 20, 2024, President Hussein Ali Mwinyi of Zanzibar officially inaugurated the island’s 1st Licensing Round for oil and gas exploration, in collaboration with the Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries and the Zanzibar Petroleum Regulatory Authority (ZPRA).

The ceremony, attended by Honourable Shaaban Ali Othman, Minister for Blue Economy and Fisheries, and other dignitaries, underscores the government’s commitment to fostering investment in the hydrocarbon sector.

President Mwinyi opened the Licensing Round, inviting bids for 8 blocks totaling 31,883 km², situated offshore to the east of the Unguja and Pemba Islands, with water depths ranging from 500m to 3,000m.

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These blocks offer a significant frontier area and are part of a five-year exploration roadmap, aimed at attracting global investors to participate in developing Zanzibar’s hydrocarbon resources.

The offshore Pemba-Zanzibar sub-basin is located along the East African coast, with the Lamu Basin to the north and the Mafia sub-basin to the south. Several exploration wells have encountered oil and gas, and numerous oil seeps across the archipelago point to a functioning petroleum system. This deepwater offshore basin is considered a frontier zone and remains largely unexplored, promising significant exploration potential. 

The blocks offered under the 1st Licensing Round include Block 1-A, Block 1-B, Block 1-C, Block 1-D, Block 1-E, Block 1-F, Block 1-G, and Block 1-H. Prospectivity assessments, supported by extensive seismic data covering 10,145 linear kilometers, have yielded encouraging results.

President Dr. Ali Mwinyi expressed, “On behalf of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, I am delighted to welcome investors to take advantage of the enormous opportunities available in our country.”

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Honourable Shaaban Ali Othman emphasized the flexibility offered in licensing options. Adam Abdulla Makame, ZPRA’s Managing Director, affirmed the commitment to ensuring a conducive environment for investors.

The deadline for bid submission and the closure of the Licensing Round is September 16, 2024, with the bid evaluation period scheduled from September 17 to November 16, 2024. The announcement of bid round awards is expected on November 17, 2024.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit the official website of the Zanzibar 1st Licensing Round (www.zanzibar1stround.com) for further information and participation.

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