Zanzibar and Shell to cooperate in gas, oil sector

The largest European oil producer, Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the two parties.

The MoU describes in particular the initial activities related to Oil and Gas capacity building and youth development activities supporting the development of skills amongst the youth, including educational initiatives and entrepreneurial skills and capabilities.

Shell holds at least four exploration licences in Zanzibar and is working with Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4) on two sites in Tanzania, according to Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp.

Shell's representative in Zanzibar Axel Knospe said they were committed to a strong relationship with Zanzibar and when appropriate, to start undertaking exploration activities in a sustainable, economically, socially and environmentally responsible way.

On his part Minister for Land, Housing, Water and Energy of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar Ramadhani Abdalla Shaaban said that the signing of the MoU is a big step in the right direction towards the Government’s efforts in developing the energy sector in Zanzibar.

Currently, Zanzibar President, Ali Mohamed Shein is on official tour in Netherlands and was expected to visit the company on Thursday morning.

Shell has said in the past that the agreement between Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar on managing oil and gas resources would allow the company to advance exploration in the Indian Ocean.

President Jakaya Kikwete and Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein last year agreed to begin preparations for the management of oil and gas resources, the 'Daily News' reported late last year.

Experts said in the past  that the problem comes up when it relates to investing in Zanzibar or within its territorial waters, where Zanzibar authorities want a separate agreement with investors, whereas the latter want a single agreement covering Tanzania as a whole.
Source: Daily News, reported by Orton Kiishweko from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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