HUNDREDS of delegates from 11 countries mainly from outside the African continent have confirmed to participate in the forthcoming Tanzania Oil and Gas conference and the fourth round of exploration block allocation scheduled for this month end.
The conference's organizing committee Chairman, Dr Abraham Temu said in Dar es Salaam on Thursday evening that delegates will include policy makers, private investors, company executives, students and the civil society.
"This conference will be followed by the fourth oil and gas blocks licensing round which will be held in the country for the first time ever," Dr Temu said while pointing out that during the conference local and foreign experts in the field will present papers, experiences and knowledge on the subsector which is becoming the country's leading foreign direct investment earner.
"It is important that we make the most of this conference as we will have almost all leading brains in the sector participating," Dr Temu said while revealing that Vice President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal will officiate the opening day.
He said students attending related disciplines are also welcome to attend saying the organizing committee targets to sponsor up to 70 of them to attend free of charge to enable acquisition of knowledge by the youth from local and foreign experts.
The organizing committee's Vice Chairperson, Joyce Kisamo said after the conference, the fourth licensing round discussions will be held with President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete officiating.
"During this licensing round, we will announce our next blocks for allocation and invite investors interested to take part," Ms Kisamo said.
Kisamo who is also Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) Director of Marketing and Investments said seven blocks are earmarked for allocation to private investors in a process which will end early next year.
TPDC has already done some survey of the blocks and collected preliminary data on seismology of the concerned areas.
"One of our duties at TPDC is to conduct preliminary surveying and keep data analysis of such areas and share them with private investment," she noted.
The exploration blocks allocation took place between June 2000 and April 2001, when only one of the six offered blocks was taken up by Petrobras.
The 2nd Round was held in July 2002 when four out of 11 blocks were awarded to Shell while the 3rd Round was in 2005 when three blocks and two further blocks were directly awarded to Ophir Energy a year later.
The remaining two blocks were awarded to Dominion Petroleum and Petrobras in 2007 and 2011 respectively.