Tanzania’s fourth round of allocating oil and gas exploration to private companies will go ahead as planned next October despite strong opposition from the local private sector and politicians, says the Tanzanian Daily News.
Minister for energy and minerals Professor Sospeter Muhongo told Daily Newsthat those opposing the allocation on grounds that the country has no legal framework to regulate the sector wanted to confuse the public.
“Nothing has changed, the exploration blocks allocation schedule remains the same,” said Muhongo. He argued that the country has a 1960s law which established Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation and a 1980 Petroleum Act that governs such oil and gas investments.
“We are improving the laws so that they can meet modern day demand. We cannot suspend the block allocation exercise because we are competing with others like Mozambique,” said the geologist turned politician who suspended the exercise last year soon after his appointment following opposition from lawmakers.
Mozambique has established it has almost 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves while Tanzania has so far managed 43 million cubic feet. “We have to continue allocating these blocks for exploration so that we can know our full potential,” the minister argued.