Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: BP Eyes Investing in Natural Gas Search

BP Oil, a firm that traded in petroleum business for many years in Tanzania, has expressed interest to invest in natural gas exploration and drilling in the country.

A delegation of BP senior officers led by their Vice- President in charge of Global Business Development Exploration and Access, Dr Jonathan Evans, presented the request to the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo.

Dr Evans said his company has been inspired by the information on availability of natural gas in the country and wish to try their luck.

Prof Muhongo said he welcomed the request, but noted that BP should be ready to compete openly with several others which have already presented their requests. "Our ministry intends to seriously run all of its activities in a fair and transparent manner in a way that anyone who appears to engage in corruption, even though it is just a rumour, will expel himself from the business," he said.

However, Prof Muhongo has commended the firm for its good record, saying it is among few companies with no complaints on selling contaminated oil. He added that such a behaviour add credits for the company to be given a chance of competing with other companies for the opportunity to have a licence for oil and gas exploration in the country.

Prof. Muhongo said the government was prepared in making sure that the sector benefits both sides -- the nation and investors. Giving details, he said, different training programmes on oil and gas have been established in local universities and colleges.

He added that scholarships have been granted to Tanzanian students to pursue different courses in oil and gas technology. Prof Muhongo said Brazil's Petrobras Company has offered scholarship for students to study in Brazil and the Chinese government has offered scholarships for students to study in eight universities in their country.

This strategy aims to make sure the nation produces enough experts in the oil and gas sub-sector in the country for them to supervise the respective sector.

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