June 23, 2023 [OilPrice.com]- CNOOC, the giant Chinese state-owned offshore oil and gas company, plans exploration offshore Tanzania under an agreement with the local state firm, Tanzanian Energy Minister January Makamba told Bloomberg on Thursday.
Tanzania, on Africa’s eastern coast, is looking to boost the development of its natural gas resources and has recently agreed on a deal with supermajors to develop a huge LNG export terminal.
CNOOC and Tanzania have “an agreement in the works” to do seismic studies ahead of an offshore licensing round slated to be held in 2024, Tanzania’s energy minister told Bloomberg during a visit to China to discuss projects with CNOOC.
The Chinese company and state-held Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation will carry out joint work in deepsea blocks owned by TPDC, the minister added.
The blocks are close to the vast natural gas discoveries made by a consortium of Shell, Equinor, and ExxonMobil.
Last month, the three supermajors and Tanzania’s government struck an agreement to develop an LNG export terminal. The initial deal includes the pillars of a host government agreement and a production-sharing agreement.
“It paves the way for the series of milestones that need to follow to realise this fantastic LNG opportunity for the country and the world,” Equinor’s Tanzania country manager Unni Fjaer said in a statement carried by Reuters.
Tanzania, as well as other countries in Africa, are looking to take advantage of the LNG demand in Europe, which is buying growing volumes of the super-chilled fuel to replace Russian pipeline supply.
“We believe that Tanzania has more gas, and possibly oil, to be discovered because only 30% of the area with potential for oil and gas resources has been explored so far,” the Tanzanian minister told Bloomberg.
Oil and gas majors are now looking to sign additional deals in the Mediterranean and Africa to supply gas to Europe, which wants to ditch Russian gas by 2027.
Eni’s chief executive Claudio Descalzi told the Financial Times early this year that Europe should look to Africa for a “south-north” energy axis for gas deliveries.
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