Russia's Gazprom Holds Talks on Tapping Tanzanian Gas


MOSCOW, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Gazprom has held meetings with Tanzanian officials and is studying the possibility of tapping offshore and onshore natural gas in the East African country, the Russian gas producer said.

East Africa has become one of the hottest new oil and gas areas after finds that producers hope to exploit partly for export to Asia. Major companies including BG Group, Exxon Mobil and Statoil are at work on developing Tanzania's gas resources.

Gazprom International, a subsidiary of the Russian pipeline gas export monopoly that operates outside the country, said its officials have met representatives of Tanzania's Energy and Minerals Ministry and officials of state energy firm TPDC.

"Gazprom International intends to complete studying of geological and geophysical information in the nearest future in order to take an appropriate decision on the prospects of work in Tanzania," it said on its web site.

Tanzania has estimated it has 43 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas reserves, most of it found offshore south of the country. In August last year its energy ministry said it expected the resources could rise to 200 tcf after two years.

The country, which has 26 production-sharing agreements in place with several overseas companies, plans to start gas exports to its east African neighbours in 2015.

Elswewhere in Africa, Gazprom's attempts to secure deals in Nigeria and Libya have been unsuccessful for reasons including political turmoil. Gazprom also works in Algeria.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Anthony Barker)


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