He made the assertion while addressing members of Parliament.
Simbachawene said the nation’s natural gas resource base was big enough to support export of the commodity as well as for local utilisation.
A member of Parliament, Rita Mlaki, had asked what plans the government had for efficient exploitation of the natural gas for local use and not for export, following which the deputy minister explained that the oil companies operating in the country had, in the process of oil exploration, incurred so much cost, which the government cannot pay without exporting the gas.
“I assure the legislator that there is a lot of gas available, enough to reserve for local use as well as exporting,” he said.
Simbachawene revealed that a total of 105 million cubic feet of gas is produced at Mnazi Bay and Songo Songo per day – 103 million cubic feet at Songo Songo and 2 million cubic feet at Mnazi Bay in Mtwara.
About 100 to 103 million cubic feet of natural gas is transported to Ubungo receiving station every day for the purpose of generating electricity and use in industries, hotels, homes and vehicles, he further stated.
Out of the total amount transported to Ubungo, 90 million cubic feet is used in generating electricity by Songas and the Tanzania Electric Supply Company, TANESCO, turbines at Ubungo and Tegeta. The remaining 10 to 13 million cubic feet is for use in homes, hotels and vehicles, the deputy minister explained.
Statoil of Norway recently revealed that drilling on new blocks may produce ‘high-impact’ finds in 2013, which translates to discovered reserves equivalent to 250 million barrels of oil or more.
Tanzania Energy and Minerals Minister, Sospeter Muhongo, has also been quoted as saying the country has enormous amounts of gas, now at 40 trillion cubic feet, and that in the next two years, the nation’s natural gas reserves will surpass 100 trillion cubic feet.