Tanzania: TPDC Embarks On Ambitious 2bn/ - Oil Exploration Project

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Oil field

TANZANIA Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has embarked on oil exploration in Eyasi Wembere basin.

The exploration has come just two years since President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni signed an agreement for the construction of crude oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga port.

The exploration will involve drilling of three oil wells with 300 metres depth each in Eyasi Wembere basin.

One of the wells will be drilled at Kining'inila Village in Igunga District and the remaining two will be drilled at Meatu in Simiyu region and Iramba in Singida region.

TPDC Oil and Gas Exploration Manager Venosa Ngowi told reporters in Dar es Salaam during the launch of the official drilling of the first well yesterday that the study follows reports collected from the basin in 2015.

She said the study indicated that Eyasi Wembere was endowed with sedimentary rocks, which could be used for oil and gas exploration.

Ms Ngowi further said that the entire area in Eyasi Wembere valley is crucial for oil and gas exploration, thanks to the types of rocks in the area.

Commenting on the drilling work for the first well, the manager said so far 116 out of 300 metres have been drilled.

Eyasi Wembere Project Manager Sindi Mduhu said that the valley consists of a large area, covering Manyara, Singida, Simiyu, Tabora and Arusha regions.

He said after collecting information about the basin, the data were interpreted to identify areas suitable for oil exploration.

"Kining'inila Village was one of the areas identified as most suitable for drilling oil wells," he said.

TPDC Director General Dr James Mataragiao said the exploration was being done with high expectations of oil discovery in the country.

"This exploration is being done with expectations of discovering oil in a period that will not exceed five years," he said, adding that exploration works will be followed by collection of key information to identify potential oil fields.

He said the government goal is to ensure that apart from extracting natural gas, the country also discovers oil, hinting that currently exploration work was being conducted by TPDC in collaboration with the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO), the project's main contractor.

Dr Mataragio said that zones likely to have oil fields include the rift valley areas like the Lokcha or Turkana in Kenya and Lake Albert, which is also within the rift valley.

He said potential areas for oil fields in Tanzania are Lake Tanganyika, which is also within the valley and has already shown good signs.

Dr Mataragio said the entire three well drilling project will cost 2.4bn/- under the government funding.

Kining'inila Village Chairman Christopher Njilezengo commended the government for the huge investment in the precinct.

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