Tanzania to Open Offshore O&G Round April 12

KAMPALA (Dow Jones Newswires), Feb. 4, 2011

Tanzania's state oil company, Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp., will open the country's fourth deep-offshore bidding round April 12 as it seeks more exploration companies in the country's oil and gas sector, a company executive said Friday.

Baltazar Thomas, the TPDC research officer, told Dow Jones Newswires bidding details would be revealed at the AAPG conference in Houston, Texas, in April.

"We are receiving interest from various international companies following recent exploration success in the region," he said.

According to Thomas, the bidding round will include 13 blocks sitting between 1,200 meters and 3,500 meters of water depth, he said.

Currently, Tanzania has licensed 12 deepwater blocks to various companies and recent exploration works have encountered at least 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Sebastian Shana, TPDC principal petroleum geologist, said at least 13 new blocks have been demarcated, including "new areas and relinquished acreage."

According to TPDC, the document for bid offers includes the revised production-sharing agreement of 2008, Tanzania's petroleum exploration and production act and the offshore gas terms.

Currently, some of the oil and gas exploration companies already licensed in Tanzania include Shell's local subsidiary Shell International, Orca Exploration Group, Dominion Gas and Oil Ltd., Tullow Oil and Tower Resources.

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