Tanzania: Minister upbeat on natural gas liquefaction plan

The government is optimistic that falling global oil price will not affect the planned investments for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in the country.

The Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Charles Mwijage told the 'Daily News' that they were hopeful that the global oil price would rebound and the current trend in fuel prices would not affect long-term plans for the LNG plant by the oil and gas companies. "Price fluctuations is a normal trend for many products including oil.

We are sure that the prices will recover and the plans for LNG plant will not be affected," he said in a telephone interview from Dodoma.

It is estimated that the planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant could cost between $20 billion and $30 billion. 

Former Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo said last year that the government was in talks with the energy majors over the launch of the LNG terminal which will be the biggest ever investment in the country.

Britain's BG Group and its partners, Ophir Energy, Exxon Mobil and Statoil plan to invest in a two-train LNG plant in Tanzania's southern Lindi Region. Statoil made another natural gas discovery in Block 2 offshore Tanzania, boosting gas volumes by 1.0-1.8 trillion cubic feet of gas (28.5-51.3 billion cubic metres) the company said on Monday.

That brings the total discovered gas volumes in Block 2 to approximately 22 trillion cubic feet, it added. The company believes more discoveries can be made in the area, but said it will now concentrate on appraising one of its previous seven discoveries.

Following this, there will be a pause in drilling "to evaluate next steps and to mature new prospects", Statoil said. The Deputy Minister said the new discovery marked another important milestone in the gas exploration activities which will continue to make Tanzania among the best world's most interesting oil and gas hotspots.

"This continues to confirm Tanzania as oil and gas investment destination," he said.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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