More natural gas has been discovered along Tanzanian coast, bringing the findings of the deep sea exploration within the past three years to 20.97 trillion cubic feet.
The amount of gas stated included a gas well that was discovered on Wednesday code-named Lavani, Mr Sospteter Muhongo, the country's Minister for Energy and Minerals, said over the weekend in Dodoma, the capital city of Tanzania.
The discovery was made by Norwegian firm, Statoil and US's Exxon Mobil, on block two located east of Lindi region, about 80 km off the coast.
"In the past three years there has been increased natural gas and oil exploration activities. These activities have been concentrated in the deep sea of the Indian Ocean," he noted.
The Guardian newspaper quoted sources in the Energy ministry and ther Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) as saying that the volume of gas in question was estimated at around five trillion cubic feet.
This amount exceeds the estimated reserves at Mnazi Bay, in Mtwara region, where the government is planning to construct a gas processing plant which will be the starting point for the 532- kilometre-long gas pipeline to Dar es Salaam with capacity of transmitting 420 million cubic feet a day.
"It is important to ensure that this pace of exploration activities remains on course and the government encourages these companies to carry on with the exploration," he said, adding that exploration for oil and natural gas in the deep sea costs between $100 million and $150 million for a single well.
The government was drawing up a policy to provide guidelines on harvesting and use of natural gas in the country as the first draft of the policy would be ready at the end of July and would be presented for public hearing in September, he said.
Meanwhile, by the end of the year the process of preparing a law on natural gas would begin, according to him.
Tanzania has witnessed a boom of oil and gas exploration companies, with the government issuing 28 licenses to 19 firms from nine countries, including US, U.K., Australia, Ireland, Norway, Holland, France, Brazil, and Mauritius.