Dar es Salaam — Tanzania is home to over 20 oil marketing companies, but only seven control over two-thirds of the market.
Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) statistics show that while the petroleum products market remained competitive during the 2017/18 financial year, the seven firms had a combined market share of 67.6 per cent.
The companies and their respective market shares in brackets are Oryx (15.5 per cent), Puma (14.4 per cent), GBP (13.3 per cent), Total (8.5 per cent), Camel Oil (5.8 per cent), Moil (5.3 per cent) and Oilcom (4.8 per cent).
Other companies that have market shares of more than two per cent each include Star Oil, Mogas, Acer, Mount Meru and Hass.
Analysts are of the view that a firm's market share is directly and indirectly linked to the level of investment.
"In our case, the majority of companies do not have oil terminals or distribution centres," said Mr Charles Mwijage, who worked in the petroleum sector for over 20 years before venturing into politics.
He added that what matters was not the number of companies operating in Tanzania, but the level of investment.
"It's better we have a few but efficient companies dealing in petroleum products," said Mr Mwijage, who is also a former Industry, Trade and Investment minister.
Mr Mwijage has vast experience in Tanzania's petroleum industry, having previously worked in various positions, including marketing manager with Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation.
According to Ewura, Tanzania's importation of petroleum products through Dar es Salaam and Tanga ports jumped by 15 per cent to 5.99 billion litres during the 2017/18 financial year compared to the previous year.
A total of 3.29 billion litres of petroleum products were imported for domestic consumption in 2017/19, equivalent to 55 per cent of total imports, with the remainder being destined for neighbouring landlocked countries.
Tanzania imports refined petroleum products under the bulk procurement system.
Dar es Salaam Port also handles transit fuel to landlocked Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Burundi and Rwanda.