Tanzania has enough gas reserves, Bunge told

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The country has enough natural gas for both export and domestic use, Members of Parliament were told on Wednesday.

The Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals (Energy), George Simbachawene

The Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals (Energy), George Simbachawene

Responding to a supplementary question from Special Seats MP, Ms Rita Mlaki, the Deputy Minister for Minerals, Mr George Simbachawene said the nation’s natural gas resource base is big enough to support exportation of the commodity as well as for local use.

In her supplementary question, Ms Mlaki sought to know what plans the government had to ensure natural gas is only reserved for local use and not for export. The deputy minister noted that companies that the government has contracted to conduct gas explorations incur a lot of costs that the government would not be able to pay, without exporting the commodity.

“I assure the legislator that there is a lot of gas available, enough to reserve for local use as well as exporting,” he explained. In a basic question by Ritta Kabati (Special Seats – CCM) the legislator sought to know how much gas is produced in the country and how much is transported to Ubungo.

Mr Simbachawene explained that a total of 105 million cubic foot is produced at Mnazi Bay and Songo Songo per day, out of which 103 million cubic feet is produced at Songo Songo and 2 million cubic feet is produced at Mnazi Bay in Mtwara. About 100 to 103 million cubic feet of natural gas is transported to Ubungo receiving station every day for the purpose of generating electricity and use in industries, hotels, homes and vehicles.

Out of the total amount transported to Ubungo, 90 million cubic feet is used in generating electricity by Songas and the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) turbines at Ubungo and Tegeta. The remaining 10 to 13 million cubic feet is for use in homes, hotels and vehicles, the deputy minister explained.

Recently, Statoil of Norway revealed that drilling on new blocks may produce ‘high-impact’ finds in 2013, which translates to discovered reserves equivalent to 250 million barrels of oil or more. This takes place as the country lays itself to permit more exploration blocks to oil and gas interests in the region, an important step toward natural gas development in the country.

Tanzania Energy and Minerals Minister, Sospeter Muhongo, has also been quoted noting that the country has enormous amounts of gas, now at 40 trillion cubic feet and in the next two years it is estimated that the nation will be at more than a 100 trillion cubic feet.

Source Tanzania Daily News

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