BG Group to Invest $20B in Tanzania Gas Exploration

NAIROBI - BG Group PLC plans to invest up to $20 billion to extract gas in Tanzania, The Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday.

BG Chairman Robert Wilson is quoted as having told Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete that Tanzania has to prepare its economy to handle such an amount of money.

"We are planning to invest between $10 billion and $20 billion in second half of this decade in gas and the Tanzanian economy," Wilson is quoted as saying.

BG has discovered huge reserves of natural gas in three wells, including a deepwater one, in the Indian Ocean, the daily says.

The firm has invested $500 million in gas exploration in the country last year and it will invest the same amount this year, Wilson said.

Wilson called on the government to join efforts to counter challenges in exploration and production of gas in the Indian Ocean, especially in dealing with pirates originating from Somalia, the daily says.

BG entered Tanzania last year with the purchase of 60% of Ophir Tanzania Ltd., which had a contract with the government and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. for exploration of gas in the Indian Ocean, the daily says.

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