One of the gas
wells in the Mnazi
Bay-Ruvuma Estuary
off Tanzania
 
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 07 December 2010 – Ophir Energy plc “’ a U.K-based oil and gas exploration company “’ has started drilling a third well off the coast of Tanzania after having discovered natural gas at two offshore sites since October.

“Drilling of Chaza 1 well, located in Block 1, will probably be completed this month or next,” said Halfani R. Halfani, director of exploration, production and technical services at the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, by phone from here.

“The Pweza 1 and Chewa 1 exploratory wells, southeast of Mafia Island, showed that there is natural gas in Block 4,” Halfani added. He wouldn’t elaborate on the possible size of the finds until further studies were done.

“We haven’t done much analysis yet on the two discoveries, but we believe this is good news,” Halfani said. “It gives the investors the motivation to continue their exploration programme.”

“The way forward is to complete the drilling programme by the end of this year or January, do additional seismic work, and then sit down with the operator and come up with a plan,” he explained.

About 16 oil and gas exploration companies have signed 24 production-sharing agreements with the Tanzanian government, according to Halfani.

Two gas deposits are in commercial production in Tanzania. Songo Songo holds 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, while the Mnazi Bay field, near the border with Mozambique, has 2 trillion cubic feet of gas in place, Halfani revealed.