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Tanzania Energy Experts Optimistic About Oil Prospects

Leaders and experts in the Tanzania energy sector have expressed optimism concerning the country’s potential for discovering oil.

According to current reports, leading drilling companies are working tirelessly various inland and deep sea drilling projects. 

Because of projects such as these, 41 wells have already been drilled in the country, out of which 12 have been discovered as gas wells.

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Based on these results, experts, including Yona Killagane, the Managing Director of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), remain optimistic about the exploration and eventually discovery of oil within the country.

Since the discovery of oil in the area of Uganda’s Lake Albert, the western branch of the East Africa Rift Valley, which extends from Uganda to the Lake Rukwa basin through Lake Tanganyika has been attracting various exploration companies.

In a recent report by the Sunday Observer, Mr. Killagane indicated that the 420,000 square-kilometer area has been identified as having the potential for oil exploration and, after the initial stages of exploration have been completed, drilling will likely begin within the next two or three years.

“Right now tremendous success has been made in drilling for gas,” Mr. Killagane told the Sunday Observer, “we’re yet to discover oil but what I can assure you is that, there are hopeful prospects for oil.”

The Norwegian Statoil Exploration Company is one of the companies with a presence in the in the field, searching for oil.

Currently Statoil has plans to spend at least $65m during the first phase of an 11-year offshore exploration project of 11,099 square kilometers located the eastern part of Mandawa Coastal Basin.

According to Mr. Killagane, because no oil has been discovered in Tanzania, the country has been listed among other frontier countries where no significant discoveries have been made, however, the presence of world leading oil exploration companies along with the discovery of gas in some wells, shows significant progress in the quest to find oil in Tanzania.

Mr. Killagane went on to explain that the discovery of oil in Tanzania would have a significant impact on the country as a whole and, therefore, efforts will continue in the exploration of the areas where there is the potential for the discovery of oil.

“Just declaring that we have oil makes the country’s economic prospect very strong,” said Mr. Killagane, “it gives confidence to development partners.”

In the meantime, Mr. Killagane said the use of gas in production was currently being used in many different industries as it is cheaper than kerosene and, beginning in April, the TPCD is planning to begin a pilot program that will emphasize and promote the use of natural gas as an alternative form of energy in the domestic car industry.

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