Tanzania to split national oil firm into two

26 September 2012, Sweeetcrude, DAR ES SALAAM – CHAIRMAN of Tanzania’s Parliamentary Public Corporations Accounts Committee says the country’s Petroleum Development Corporation, TPDC, could be split into a regulator and a national oil company under impending legislative reforms.

Zitto Kabwe, chairman of the committee, which oversees the running of state agencies, told Reuters: “TPDC as it is now has massive conflict of interest as it is both a regulator and investor at the same time”.

“This creates a lot of inefficiencies,” he said, harping on the need for a change in the situation.

Tanzania, which is East Africa’s second biggest economy, expects to have its first-ever gas policy in place in November and is drafting a natural gas utilisation master plan and legislation to regulate the industry.

But, it has postponed a much-awaited deep-water licensing round originally scheduled for September, pending parliamentary vote on the new gas policy.
Zitto said the auditing of actual costs incurred by oil and gas companies was a big challenge facing the sector.

“The proposed national oil company must take up government shares in private companies with oil blocks, while the regulatory authority must enter into contracts and manage these contracts, including the auditing of contracts,” he said.

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