24 October 2013, Dar es Salaaam – The government of Tanzania will continue to work with international oil and gas companies to prepare policies and strategies that will ensure Tanzanians benefit from the newly-found off-shore natural gas reserves, the Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal, has said.
He said in Dar es Salaam that the government would ensure that the oil and gas sector develop and unlock diverse economic activities that will provide employment opportunities and bring about prosperity in the communities.
“We will work together with big and international companies to prepare policies and strategies to build sustainable capacity for our people, so that at the end of the day the benefits of the gas economy should be available to all,” Dr Bilal said when he was opening the second oil and gas conference at the Mwalimu Nyerere Convention Centre in the city.
The newly-found off-shore natural gas reserves, about 43.1tcf by the latest figures, are expected to propel the East African country into the gas economy with power generation enough to run existing and coming up industries and for exports.
The Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, said that the government worked in the best interest of the nation in handling of the gas and oil exploration and handing of offshore and onshore gas and oil blocks to investors.
He said the interests of the people were taken care of by the state-owned Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), which has been tasked with ensuring that the government and the public in general benefitted from the investments in the oil and gas exploration and production activities.
“Representative of our interests is the TPDC, after some time it will have majority of shares in the gas investments and will later on sell them to the public,” he told a handful of reporters at the sidelines of the conference. Prof Muhongo said TPDC would be restructured to help the country better regulate its vast natural gas discoveries.
He would not go into details, but available details show TPDC would be split into two separate entities, one to act as an upstream regulator of the fast-growing gas industry and the other as a publicly- owned commercial oil company.
The minister further said the much awaited natural gas policy of 2013 was finally out, paving the way for enactment of legislation to regulate activities and protect investments in the sector. “The gas policy is out. Ten days ago, I presented it to the Cabinet and it was endorsed,” he said.
– Tanzania Daily News