Tanzania gears up to become gas hub

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania- Tanzania is set to become one of the biggest exporters of natural gas in the region with an announcement of yet more discoveries by BG Group (BG).

BG Group announced last week it has found recoverable resources in Mzia, offshore southern Tanzania, across Blocks 1, 3 and 4.

This is good news for Tanzania especially with recent reports that BG and Ophir Energy submitted proposals to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Lindi.

According to a company statement the exploration confirmed Mzia as the second giant gas discovery, after Jodari, in BG Group’s acreage offshore Tanzania, with 4.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of total gross recoverable resources. 

The total gross recoverable resources across BG Group’s Blocks 1, 3 and 4 are now estimated to be around 15 tcf, with further exploration upside.

The Mzia-3 appraisal well, drilled approximately six kilometres north of the original Mzia-1 discovery in 1780 metres of water, has been cored and logged. 

BG states that results confirm the reservoir sands are extensive and of similar quality to those found in the Mzia-1 and Mzia-2 wells. In addition, the gas-down-to level proven in Mzia-3 is around 100 metres deeper than that of Mzia-2.

‘Further north, detailed technical analysis of the Block 4 discoveries Chewa, Ngisi and Pweza, which were also appraised and tested in the campaign, was positive with total gross recoverable resources in the block now estimated around 5 tcf,’ the statement reads in part.

An extensive exploration and appraisal campaign of 14 wells started in 2010. Offshore Tanzania has had a 100% success rate with nine consecutive discoveries and five appraisal wells, three of which included drill stem tests showing high flow rates.

BG Group Chief Executive Chris Finlayson said there were sufficient resources for a two-train LNG project in Tanzania. 

He said the aim of the appraisal programme was to optimize the future development plan and place the most economic gas into the proposed project first to extract the most value across the chain.

Finlayson said BG Group and its partner Ophir Energy and other partners in Block 2, Statoil and ExxonMobil, are continuing to make good progress in the assessment of a LNG project.