Braspetro Applies For Exploration License Offshore Tanzania


Braspetro, a subsidiary of Petrobras, has applied for a license to explore for oil off the coast of southern Tanzania.

Tanzania, at present not a major producer of hydrocarbons, launched its first offshore licensing round last year promising fast track procedures and attractive terms to encourage deep sea exploration.

On offer were five licensing areas totalling 60,000 sq km (23,000 square miles) of the Indian Ocean's Mafia South Deep sea basin.

``Braspetro of Brazil bid for block five in the Mafia South Deep sea basin,'' Khalfan Khalfan, director of oil exploration at state-owned Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, said. Khalfan said a complete evaluation of Braspetro's bid was expected by the end of July. The details of the bid were undisclosed.

He added tenders would also be announced in June for another five blocks totalling 50,000 sq km (19,000 square miles) off the northern Tanzanian coast near the Zanzibari island of Pemba.

The discovery of commercial quantities of oil would provide much needed relief to Tanzania's oil import bill which at present is equivalent to 50 percent of the country's foreign exchange earnings.