Tanzania’s current natural gas reserves are at about 55 trillion cubic feet (tcf) following new deep sea discoveries off its southern coast, the east African nation’s energy minister said.
East Africa is a new hotspot in hydrocarbon exploration after substantial deposits of crude oil were found in Uganda and major gas reserves discovered in Tanzania and Mozambique.
“As a result of ongoing exploration activity, natural gas resources discovered in the country rose from 46.5 tcf in June 2014 to 55.08 tcf in April 2015, equivalent to an increase of 18 percent,” George Simbachawene, Tanzania’s energy and minerals minister, said in a presentation to parliament on Saturday.
Tanzania in October raised its estimate of recoverable natural gas resources to up to 53.2 tcf.
He said the government had lifted the natural gas resources estimate following new discoveries by Statoil, Exxon Mobil, BG Group and Ophir Energy.
Simbachawene said a pipeline connecting offshore natural gas fields to Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam would be commissioned in September, ahead of the energy ministry’s previous estimates of November.
“The commercial operational date of gas processing plants and the pipeline has now been set at September 2015,” he said.
The 532-km (330-mile) pipeline and gas processing plants, financed by a $1.225 billion Chinese loan, were initially expected to be completed last year but were delayed from going online due to technical setbacks.