Petrodel and Octant’s Alliance: A Step Forward in Tanzania’s Oil Exploration

Tanzania has been gradually emerging as a significant player in the oil and gas industry

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

In a recent move that signals significant progress in Tanzania’s energy sector, Tanzania’s Minister of Energy, has approved the transfer of a 74% interest in the Tanga block from Afren Tanzania Limited to Octant Energy Tanzania Ltd, thus unlocking the issue that had stalled developments on this important block This decision, based on the Petroleum Act of 2015, represents a significant step in Tanzania’s pursuit of energy resource optimization and the government’s commitment to fostering strategic partnerships.

Tanzania, located in East Africa, has been gradually emerging as a significant player in the oil and gas industry on the continent. The nation boasts substantial estimated natural gas reserves, with approximately 57.5 trillion cubic feet. This has positioned Tanzania as one of the key contributors to the Sub-Saharan African energy market.

The Tanga block, located in a geologically promising area, features a deep basin with significant sedimentary deposits suitable for exploration. It contains various source rock intervals and potential reservoirs. The presence of diverse sedimentary deposits and the discovery of oil seeps on nearby Pemba Island underscore the block’s geological potential.

Petrodel had initially farmed out a 74% interest in the block to Afren. Afren famously went into liquidation. With this transfer completed the parties hold; Petrodel 26% and Octant (acting as operator) 74% interest. This collaboration aims to leverage advanced technology to reprocess the 3D seismic survey data of the Tanga block, initially acquired in 2013. This aligns with the Tanzanian government’s vision of sustainable resource utilization, demonstrating a commitment to excellence and innovation in the energy sector.

Petrodel had been a first mover in East Africa, securing exploration licenses for the Tanga, Kimbiji, and Latham blocks in 2006 in Tanzania and Block 17 in Zambia. Tanzania’s proactive approach and openness to international partnerships have made the country an attractive destination for energy investments in East Africa. The Tanga block, with its promising geological characteristics and recent advancements in seismic data analysis, is poised to be a cornerstone of a black oil discovery in Tanzania’s growing energy sector.

Michael J. Prest, the founder and CEO of Petrodel, has remained characteristically tight lipped on this development but sources close to him said he had expressed optimism about this new phase. With the transfer of Afren’s interest to Octant completed, clears the way for potentially big things; reflecting the potential of the Tanga block and he is delighted with the collaboration with Octant. The Petrodel / Octant focus on utilizing new cutting-edge technology for seismic data reprocessing demonstrates a commitment to exploring the full potential of the block’s resources.

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