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Sunday, December 01, 2013 

Kikwete tells oil firms to behave

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – President Jakaya Kikwete has warned oil and gas companies in Tanzania to stick to the operational guidelines and relevant national laws concerning exploration and production to protect the environment.He was speaking during the launch of the 4th Tanzania deep offshore and north Lake Tanganyika licensing round in Dar es Salaam recently.
“We all know that poorly planned petroleum operations may become an environmental hazard affecting people, land, water, plants and animals through pollution,” he said.
He said, some of the negative effects of pollution are irreversible. “It will be futile on our and an act of gross irresponsibility, if we undertake poorly planned exploration activities that will have negative impacts to the environment.
“It will adversely affect us and future generations,” he said.
Kikwete said the government was quite willing to cooperate with the companies, but they should also respect the relevant laws.
 “We are ready to facilitate your business and ensure that your investment is safe for our mutual benefits. We have the necessary institutional and regulatory frameworks in place. We will always endeavour to continue to improve the investment climate, provide efficient and effective regulatory framework and improve our infrastructure in order to reduce the costs of doing business,” he insisted.
Kikwete said the government intends to develop human resources to match the requirements of the oil and gas industry. “Our dream is to create a situation whereby the government, investors and the people of Tanzania will emerge as winners.  There should be no loser in our envisaged set-up,” he said.
He said the spirit of partnership and cooperation is key. “We are in the process of putting in place a gas policy framework to ensure smooth operations of the industry. We have also reviewed the terms of the production sharing agreements.
We are taking concrete measures to improve investment climate in the country.  As some foreign companies have confessed to me that our investment incentives are arguably among the best on the African continent,” he said.
This makes us feel good in the sense that we are as competitive as other players in the market. No wonder therefore, that we have 24 active PSA’s and 17 operators in the oil and gas industry in our dear country,” he said.The exploration for oil and gas in the deep offshore Tanzania started in 1999. Notable firms are Statoil and Exxon Mobil, BG and Ophir, Petrobras and Shell, and Dominion Oil and Gas.


By Leonard Magomba, Sunday, December 01st, 2013