East Africa becoming world’s fastest growing gas hub as Tanzania discovers more natural gas reserves
Tanzania has nearly tripled its estimate of recoverable natural gas reserves to up to 28.74 trillion cubic feet from 10 trillion and plans to introduce new legislation later this year to regulate the gas industry.
Tanzania raised its estimate after huge recent discoveries in the east African country’s deep-water offshore region.
Tanzania Energy and Minerals Minister Sospeter Muhongo said the recoverable gas reserves are estimated at 20.97 trillion cubic feet offshore and 4.27-7.77 trillion cubic feet onshore.
“Deep-water offshore oil and gas exploration is a very expensive undertaking. It is important to ensure this gas and oil exploration momentum continues, and the government will give a bigger push for companies to proceed,” Muhongo said.
The minister said the latest gas reserve estimates take into account last week’s discovery by Norwegian oil firm Statoil and ExxonMobil of a big gas deposit off Tanzania at the Lavani well with an estimated 3 trillion cubic feet of gas.
The discovery confirms East Africa’s status as one of the world’s fastest-growing gas hubs.
It is estimated that about 253 trillion cubic feet may lie off Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique, relatively close to Asia’s lucrative liquefied natural gas markets.
Muhongo said the government had so far granted 28 licences to some 19 companies to explore for oil and gas.