from African Business Review..
May 20,, 2013, By Sheree Hanna
The Tanzanian Government has released a date for licence bids for its natural gas and oil reserves in the hope of still winning export business from the US.
Tanzania will open bids for gas and oil exploratory licences in May next year once it has been revealed by the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo.
The date for bids has been set as May 9, 2014 when the Natural Gas Policy and legislation will have been ratified by government.
The Minister made the announcement in parliament to allay the fears of some sector leaders that the government was planning to offer seven deep offshore blocks and one onshore block in October before policy had been approved.
Prof Muhongo said it was important to advertise for blocks as Tanzania was in competition for investors with other countries.
He said: “So if we say we should not advertise our exploratory blocks today, we will only invite them at a time when they have had enough of it somewhere else.”
One of the reasons given for fast tracking legislation was the fact the US is currently exploring for Shale Gas – a natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations.
Prof Muhongo said It was important for Tanzania to develop its own natural gas before the US finds Shale Gas as it was one of the major markets for the hydrocarbon substance, but this may stop if the US discovers Shale gas reserves.
Kenya, he said, is yet another reason for Tanzania to speed up its pace, saying East Africa’s largest economy is currently prospecting for natural gas and that it has found some two tcf.
Latest data shows that Nigeria has some 180 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Mozambique has 200 tcf and Tanzania has some 42 tcf.