TPDC doubles its stake in the Mnazi Bay Block
Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has increased its participating interest in the Mnazi Bay Block from 20% to 40%, a strategic move aimed at beefing up its involvement in petroleum operations undertaken in the Block.
Before such a two-fold increase, the operator of the Block by name Maurel et Prom Exploration Production Tanzania Ltd had a participating interest of 48.06% in production activities while Wentworth Resources and TPDC had 31.94% and 20%, respectively.
Speaking during the signing ceremony of the deal held recently at the Chamwino State House in Dodoma, the Managing Director of TPDC Mr. Mussa Makame said that it was for the first time TPDC exercised its legal right provided for in the Petroleum Act 2015 to increase its participating interest.
“When TPDC was informed about Wentworth Resources selling its 31.94% of participating interest to Maurel et Prom, TPDC having been granted the first right of refusal by the Act, assessed its capacity and decided to acquire 20% of the interest, leaving 11.94% to Maurel et Prom.
“TPDC paid Maurel et Prom USD 23.6 Million using its internal revenues to acquire the interest. This successful conclusion of the deal means that Maurel et Prom is now having 60% of the participating interest in the Block while TPDC has 40%.” stated Makame.
Makame further explained that the increased participation interest will result in more revenue share to the Government and greater participation of TPDC in development and operation of the Block.
“Previously, key decisions regarding the development and operation of the Block were being made mostly by M&P and Wentworth Resources who had veto power but after this deal, decisions will be made jointly by M&P and TPDC” added Makame
He also noted that the newly signed Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between M&P and TPDC for operating the Block will provide room for TPDC to send its staff to Mnazi Bay on long-term secondment contrary to the previous arrangement when TPDC staff were being engaged on short term basis. This new arrangement will enable TPDC to develop its capacity.
Providing some stats, Makame said the recoverable reserve at the Mnazi Bay Block stood at 641 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) and the average natural gas production per day was 120 million standard cubic feet. The produced gas is sold to various customers, with the anchor customer being the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO). The quantities of gas produced at Mnazi Bay Block constitute 48% of total natural gas produced in Tanzania.
Addressing the crowd at the signing ceremony, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Her Excellence Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan commended TPDC for such a bold move and for playing its role effectively as the guardian of national interest in the oil and gas sector.
“In the recent past, in oil and gas deals like these where money is changing hands, we would be witnessing transactions between foreign companies with TPDC being a mere onlooker. But now, the tables have turned as we see capacitated local companies such as TPDC buying interests from foreign companies. This is truly remarkable and encouraging” said Dr. Samia.
Apart from commending TPDC and all parties involved in making the deal a success, Dr. Samia also used the opportunity to call on more local participation through effective enforcement of local content requirements.
She also reminded respective Authorities to ensure that companies operating in the country are giving back to the community by implementing Corporate Social Responsibility projects.