The National Institute of Petroleum (INP)-Mozambique and the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (Pura) in Tanzania are about to sign an agreement about the equal sharing of the natural gas reserve in the border area.
The proposed unitization agreement, which was made public yesterday during a meeting between media editors and Pura management, is expected to have a significant impact on both countries and change the energy sector in East Africa.
Unitization is the process by which the holders of each license work together to cooperatively develop an oil or gas reserve that crosses numerous license zones.
The agreement’s fundamental elements, according to Pura Director General Charles Sangweni, are derived from the exceptional geographic location of these gas assets. In this instance, the gas deposits extend over a region that crosses both national borders, in contrast to conventional boundary conflicts where the demarcation is found within the soil.
Given the possibility of a large overlap in the gas reservoirs, both countries have come to the negotiating table over the difficult and delicate subject of resource sharing. Their research has expanded to include the southern region of Tanzania, where blocks 4/1B and 4/1C cross the Mozambican border.
Conversely, Mozambique has already found an astounding 172 trillion cubic feet of gas in blocks 5/A and 5/B of the Northern belt area. It is currently thought that these reservoirs might cross into Tanzanian territory, which calls for more investigation.
In such situations, Mr. Sangweni underlined the international precedent of unitization agreements, whereby nations cooperate to share resources when reservoirs overlap.
He stated, “In order to implement this, we have been in contact with our colleagues through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our ministry (the Ministry of Energy), so that we can now enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will bring cooperation on many things, including entering into a unitisation agreement.”
The upcoming agreement has enormous potential for advancing bilateral collaboration as well as gas exploration.
The director general went into further detail about the agreement’s many facets, pointing out that it is essential that there be mechanisms for technological exchange and shared experience.
According to Mr. Sangweni, Tanzania and Mozambique have formed a team of specialists who are collaborating to quickly conclude the agreement, which is an example of their collaborative attitude.
It is impossible to exaggerate the agreement’s economic consequences. Like many other countries, Tanzania is beginning to realize how crucial natural gas is to supply its energy needs.
Mr Sangweni said, “Gas energy is becoming a global imperative and heralded its role in strengthening Tanzania’s economy. It is anticipated that the availability of gas energy will reduce reliance on imported oil, making it a vital step in achieving energy security.”
He also discussed the agreement’s regional implications, stating that Zambia is well-positioned to play a major role in the provision of natural gas to its neighbors, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Zambia.
The potential to use Mozambique’s gas infrastructure to send resources to Kenya illustrates how the agreement might promote further regional cooperation, which will be advantageous to both countries.