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Dar eyes regional oil powerhouse status

Dar eyes regional oil powerhouse status

Tanzania is poised to become the latest oil giant in the region, if the envisioned prospect of exploring the nonpolar chemical substance is anything to go by.

Speaking here on Monday ,Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) Managing Director James Mataragio hinted that the country was eyeing the prospects of oil exploration along the Eyasi-Wembere basin which sits on the Rift Valley.

“Three wells have already been drilled in the area with geological mapping completed, in two years we will have achieved oil exploration in the area,” revealed the TPDC Chief, while fielding questions on the sidelines of the unveiling of the new national oil company’s board of directors.

A recent conducted geological mapping of the area established a striking resemblance of similar locations in Kenya and Uganda where Oil was discovered, according to Dr Mataragio.

Oil exploration in Tanzania date back to the 1950s and since then, 23 deep test wells have been drilled and more than 30,000 kilometers of seismic lines recorded. With the continent's oil industry centered on Nigeria in West Africa, East Africa has been overlooked.

Of the more than 30,000 wells drilled in Africa, fewer than 500 were in East Africa, according to Afren, an oil explorer active in the region.

Earlier on, Former Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue who also chairs the TPDC board of directors exuded optimism that his team will hit the ground running realizing petroleum and oil potential to the country.

“There are a lot of expectations from the team and it is my hope that we live up to them as far as the sheer number of projects being executed by TPDC,” said Ambassador Sefue.

For his part, January Makamba challenged the newly appointed board to assist the government in transforming the company and enhancing its performance.

Early this year, TPDC inked a deal with a United Kingdom- based transaction advisor Baker Botts LLP, an agreement which will see the firm assist the government of Tanzania on developing the proposed construction of a long-awaited liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Lindi.

The agreement was aimed at making the $30billion gas scheme a reality and ultimately propelling the country’s economic development.

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