How Tanzania will benefit from Mnazi Bay pact

MTWARA: TANZANIA is set to reap big from the Mnazi Bay natural gas block after the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) on Saturday signed an agreement with the Maurel & Prom company to jointly operate the block located in Mtwara Region.

The two entities signed the agreement at Chamwino State House in Dodoma in the presence of President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan.

The Mnazi Bay joint operation agreement was signed after the two bought additional shares from another former shareholder, Wentworth Company.

Detailing on the benefits of the agreement, TPDC Managing Director Musa Makame said the corporation will now be owning 40 per cent of the Mnazi Bay, up from previous only 20 per cent, while its co-shareholder, Maurel & Prom, will have the remaining 60 per cent.

“Previously, the two companies (Maurel & Prom and Wentworth Company) were mainly running the block but with this new agreement TPDC will be part of decision making,” Mr Makame stated.

He added: “We will also have the right to have TPDC staff at the site of operation, including running Mnazi Bay block in long term secondment.”

He also said under the contract, it has agreed that in the 2024 budget they would drill two wells and install another new pressure machine to increase production in efforts to ensure availability of natural gas to meet national demand.

“This is a big step for the TPDC and nation at large because the corporation targets to increase its ownership in this strategic block,” he stated.

He added that the acquisition of the shares would increase government revenue, enhance energy security by avoiding the concentration of block operations and ownership in a single foreign-based company, and strengthen TPDC’s capacity in well operations and gas management.

He said that currently the Mnazi Bay block holds recoverable natural gas reserves of approximately 641 billion cubic feet.

Presently, about 120 million cubic feet of gas are produced and distributed daily to customers, with Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) being the largest consumer.

“This production represents approximately 48 per cent of the total gas produced in the country and has the capacity to generate 600 megawatts of electricity,” He noted.

On his part, Country Manager of Maurel & Prom Mr Nicolas Engel said that the increased shares will rise more focus and dedication to further expand and develop the asset to meet the current and future gas demand.

He commended the commitment of the government in making the deal happen and pledged the total responsibility to achieve the desired goals.

Mr Engel asserted that “you can count on us to continue strengthening our engagement with the government, stakeholders, employees to enhance our impact to local communities in a range of health, education and environment, and continue to deliver responsibility.

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