Tanzania is planning to launch its 5th oil and gas licensing round by the end of 2023 to revive interest in its exploration and production sector. The country has seen a decline in activity in recent years due to anti-private sector policies under the late President John Magufuli. However, since President Samia Hassan took office in 2021, there have been signs of a resurgence in the oil and gas sector.
The proposed bid round, which will be the country’s first in a decade, is expected to consist of 26 newly demarcated blocks, including 11 in deep water and 15 onshore. The government is currently gathering all the necessary data, including seismic and well data, and is in talks with a multi-client data contractor. The areas that are likely to be open for bidding are located in the Rufiji, Ruvuma, Mandawa, and Mafia Deep basins, focusing on the eastern onshore region.
Tanzania has significant natural gas resources, with an estimated 57 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves. The $42 billion Tanzania LNG project is back on track, and plans are in place to fully exploit the country’s gas resources and export gas to neighbouring countries. The government is also considering exporting gas to Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, with discussions underway for the construction of gas pipelines to facilitate these exports.
Currently, there are 11 active blocks in Tanzania, including three deep-water tracts operated by Shell and Equinor, which will supply gas to the proposed liquefied natural gas plant at Lindi. Other companies, such as Orca Energy, Maurel & Prom, and Aminex, produce gas from fields such as Songo Songo, Mnazi Bay, and Kiliwani North. There are also ongoing exploration activities by companies like Swala Oil & Gas, Dodsal, and ARA in various onshore plays.