By Nicholas Bariyo
Tanzania plans to present a new natural gas bill to parliament in November, the energy and minerals minister said Monday, as the East African nation steps up efforts formulate a regulatory framework for its fledging oil and gas sector.
Sospeter Muhongo said that government expects to get the final input from various stakeholders on draft legislation in the next few weeks to proceed with its presentation in the national assembly in November. The legislation, which is expected to pass in the first quarter of 2015, is designed to unlock huge investments in the country's fast-growing natural gas sector.
"The draft natural gas bill is complete and will be presented to parliament in November," Mr. Muhongo said in the ministry's 2014-15 budget report. "Completion of relevant policies and laws will strengthen the supervision of the oil and natural gas sector for the benefit of present and future generations."
Exploration companies have discovered more than 45 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the past few years, according to analysts with at least 83% of the discovered reserves in deep-sea offshore blocks. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that East Africa's coastal region holds up to 441 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Norway's largest energy company Statoil ASA (STL.OS), U.K.-based BG Group PLC (BG.LN) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) are planning to build the first liquefied natural gas plant in the country to export natural gas to Asian markets. The plant is expected to cost $20 billion to $30 billion, according to company officials.
Write to Nicholas Bariyo at Nicholas.firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires