Tanzania nods Ophir shares sale to Pavilion

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania -The government has welcomed the intended sale of 20% of Ophir Energy plc, to a Singapore-based Pavilion Energy pte at $1.28 billlion before tax.

Ophir is currently involved with oil and gas exploration in Tanzania.

Ophir Energy plc is in talks with Pavilion, which is a subsidiary of Tamasek Holdings, over the offshore blocks 1, 3 and 4 out of the five assets with a 40% ownership.

This means that Ophir Energy plc now retain a 20% stake with Pavilion also owning 20% while the British conglomerate, BG Group, remains with its 60% holdings.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam last week, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Eliakim Mawsi said the government welcomes the sale of the shares provided the proper procedure is followed so that the essential government tax is paid up in terms of capital gains.

Maswi said the government was keen to ensure that oil and gas investors in the country get the required benefits from their investment.

“The government would examine the transaction carefully to ensure it brings mutual benefits to Tanzanians as well as investors,” he said.

 Maswi said he hopes that Pavilion Energy would work with the government to ensure a continued win-win situation. 

He insisted on the importance of both the government and investors to be more transparent in all the dealings.

He said in this way the public can be informed of the challenges facing the gas and oil exploration companies.

He said the development of the discovered gas in deep waters was a challenge and a testament to the quality of Tanzanian resources, together with attractiveness of Tanzania as an investment destination.

Dr Nick Cooper,  the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ophir Energy plc Tanzania, said Pavilion Energy represented a positive addition to the joint venture. 

He said this is important as they progress through the development phase and into producing high quality liquefied natural gas (LNG). 

He said Tanzania remains a core part of Ophir Energy’s portfolio and his company will continue to invest further in the country’s growth through other exploration activities.  

“We are also investing much in the country, but at times there are strict tax laws and also how to export the gas to other countries,” Dr Cooper said.