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Tanzania Oil

Tanzania is a net importer of petroleum products. In 2022, the country imported USD 3.3 billion worth of petroleum products.

Petroleum products supply in Tanzania is being conducted through a Bulk Procurement System (BPS) since 2011.

Under the BPS, purchases of petroleum products are made from a pool of imports obtained from suppliers selected through a competitive bidding process.

The BPS covers the following grades of petroleum products: Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), Unleaded Motor Spirit Premium (MSP), Jet A-1, and Illuminating Kerosene (IK).

Tanzania Oil Infrastructure

The petroleum handling Infrastructures in the mainland include petroleum berthing facilities, petroleum storage terminals, transportation facilities, retail outlets, and consumer installations.

Berthing facilities used for handling vessels bringing imported petroleum products are located at Dar es Salaam, Tanga, and Mtwara ports.

According to the latest data issued by Tanzania’s Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), as of June 2021 there are twenty-two (22) oil-receiving terminals in mainland Tanzania, located at Dar es Salaam, Tanga, and Mtwara ports with total storage capacity of 1,288,101 cubic meters.

At the beginning of 2016, Uganda chose Tanzania over Kenya for the construction of its oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), due to cost and safety concerns.

EACOP will transport crude oil from Uganda’s oil fields to Tanga, Tanzania, a port on the Indian Ocean.

The Uganda-Tanzania pipeline will be 1,443km long with the capacity of carrying 200,000 barrels per day and a total cost of USD3.55b.

Tanzania Oil Exploration

Oil exploration in Tanzania began in the 1950s and since then 23 deep test wells have been drilled and more than 30,000 line kilometers of seismic lines recorded.

Although no oil has yet been discovered, one of the wells drilled in 1984 encountered an oil source rock, and surface oil seeps have been observed both in the coastal basin and in the western rift valley.

Currently, 116,580 square kilometers of the country is under license, representing about 55% of the total area covered by potential petroleum basins.

14 exploration and development licenses are currently covering 5 different areas across Tanzania. However, no oil discovery has been made yet.

Oil discoveries in Uganda’s Lake Albert region have led many oil exploration companies to begin looking at the possibility of oil in Tanzania’s Lake Rukwa basin via Lake Tanganyika in the western branch of the Rift Valley.

Included in these exploration companies are the Norwegian-based Statoil Exploration Company as well as the Brazilian company, Petrobrus, both of which are involved in oil exploration projects in Tanzania.

In October 2016, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for joint oil exploration in Lake Tanganyika.

President Kabila of DRC reminded that DRC has already discovered oil in Lake Albert, located on the border between Uganda and DRC; and that there is a high possibility that they will find oil in Lake Tanganyika.

Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation

The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) was established in 1969 as the national oil company of Tanzania, through which the Ministry of Energy and Minerals implements its petroleum exploration and development policies.

The roles of TPDC as defined by the Tanzanian Government are:

  •  To promote and monitor the exploration for oil and gas
  •  To develop and produce oil and gas
  • To conduct research and development of the oil and gas industry in the country
  •  To manage the exploration and production data
  •  To advise the Government on petroleum related issues
  •  To market and sell natural gas under PSA arrangement
  •  To undertake the management of strategic fuel reserves and
  •  To undertake trading in petroleum products

Last Updated: 3rd February 2023