The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has acquired an additional 20% stake in the Mnazi Bay natural gas field, raising its total ownership to 40%.
The deal was signed on Saturday with the French company Etablissements Maurel & Prom SA (M&P), which operates the field and holds the remaining 60% stake.
The $23.6 million deal is part of Tanzania’s move to increase government participation in strategic projects, especially in the energy sector.
Present during the ceremony was President Samia Suluhu Hassan and said Tanzania aims to boost its production and export of natural gas, which has proven reserves of 57.54 trillion cubic feet.
“Our direction should be to increase the government’s stake in projects that are doing well, not just in energy but other sectors as well,” said President Hassan in a speech at the signing ceremony.
Mnazi Bay, located in the Mtwara region of southern Tanzania, has proven natural gas reserves of 641 billion cubic feet and currently produces around 48% of Tanzania’s gas, according to TPDC’s managing director Mussa Makame.
The field supplies gas to the National Natural Gas Infrastructure Pipeline (NNGI), which connects to various power plants and industries in the country.
M&P and TPDC plan to invest $100 million in the project to expand gas compression infrastructure and increase drilling activities, according to M&P’s general manager Nicolas Engel.
The investment is expected to enhance the field’s production capacity and extend its lifespan.
The Mnazi Bay gas field is one of the key assets of M&P, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company listed on Euronext Paris.
It has operations mainly in Africa, through its subsidiaries in Gabon, Nigeria, and Tanzania. It also has assets in Latin America and Italy.