THE government is striving to ensure effective management of natural gas resources, by creating a stable system for regulating the industry, for the benefit of investors and Tanzanians alike.
The remarks were made yesterday by Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan (pictured), when launching the first ever oil and gas congress in the country, taking place in Dar es Salaam.
Ms Samia said the government had enacted legislations that seek to position the country on a strong institutional, legal and regulatory platform upon which to build the oil and gas sector for the benefit of present and future generations.
The legislations include the Petroleum Act of 2015, the Extractive Industry Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 and the Oil and Gas Revenue Management Act of 2015 passed in August of 2015.
"Under these legislations, Tanzania hopes to ensure that appropriate standards of providing local content principles, including the requirement for technology transfer and skills to Tanzanians are met," Ms Samia noted.
She noted that through the regulations, Tanzanian had set the base for what oil and gas local content requirement will be, stressing that physical and human capital development are also central to local content for economic growth.
"Tanzania continues to work with her partners to ensure that the Tanzania gas sector will eventually be developed and staffed by Tanzanians," Ms Samia noted. She explained that the impact of gas discovery to the nation's economy has been remarkable since the government started harnessing the gas.
"We have been able to improve electricity supply although much remains to be done and we have already embarked on building capacity on operations and management of the technology of production transportation and use of gas," she noted further.
Ms Samia said besides being a source of energy, the oil and gas industry was the basis of chemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical products.
"I therefore urge local companies to ensure that they identify and engage right partners so that they can start transferring appropriate technology in order to improve their competitiveness," she explained.
On his part, the Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Dr Medard Kalemani, said the country is using less that 10 per cent of the 57.25 trillion standard cubic feet (tcf).
The first natural gas discovery in the country was made in Songo Songo Islands in Lindi Region, in 1974. "Tanzania has been exploring for natural gas for more than 50 years.
The first natural gas discovery in Tanzania was made in 1974 in the Songo Songo Island, Lindi Region, followed by a second discovery at the Mnazi Bay, Mtwara Region in 1982," he explained.
He noted that currently, the government was discouraging the use of heavy fuels and encouraging use of natural gas. So far the government has connected 70 houses with gas for domestic use, Dr Kalemani told the delegates, adding that plans were underway to add more.
On her part, the Zanzibar Minister for Lands, Water, Energy and Environment, Ms Salama Aboud Talib, welcomed interested investors in the Zanzibar oil and gas sector.
The two day annual congress which ends today was organised by Pietro Fiorentini and CWC Group, supported by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.