TPDC, Orca Group eye at increasing gas supply in EAC

TANZANIA, the second largest economy in the bloc, is actively looking forward to increase the supply and usage of natural gas in the country and within the East African region at large.

The supply of gas is expected to boost economic growth and enable wananchi to engage in businesses within the region.

Recently, Orca Exploration Group and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) have agreement to increase the supply of gas, which basically aims at boosting production in the country and within the region.

According to the agreement, Orca Exploration Group will now supply an additional of 10 million standard cubic feet of natural gas to TPDC.

Before the new agreement, the company was supplying TPDC 20 million mmscfd a day. Thus with new agreement, TPDC will now receive 30 million mmscfd from Orca Exploration Group per day.

Orca’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigel Friend, said his company stands to support Tanzania in evaluating the potential to supply large volumes of natural gas to strategic partners in the East African region.

“We are encouraged by this increased activity and, in conjunction with our partner, TPDC, we are evaluating the options to increase production from the SongoSongo field to ensure that natural gas is available to support the government’s objectives in a timely manner,” Mr Nigel said in an operational update issued over the weekend.

Supplying those strategic partners and new markets would require Orca to develop the northern section of the SongoSongo field where there was a natural gas discovery in 1974.

In addition, the CEO said, the company was in discussions with commercial fuel distributors and other potential consumers to expand its existing compressed natural gas business.

Orca, operates in the country through its subsidiary PanAfrican Energy Tanzania, additional gas sales increased on average to 60 mmscfd in eight month to August compared to 37 mmscfd similar period last year.

Tanzania is set to add 5.2trillion cubic feet to raise estimate reserves of natural gas to over 62 trillion cubic feet.

And is the only country in EAC that has so far discovered natural gas reserves— South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda have oil reserves.

Under the agreement, Orca, said the additional gas will be processed and transported to Dar es Salaam through the National Natural Gas Infrastructure (NNGI).

The firm said despite the new regional demands, they remain well placed to deliver additional volumes to the proposed new 185 MW gas fired generation facility at Kinyerezi 1, via the NNGI.

“Whilst efforts to progress the project continue, Orca believes the plant will not be operational before mid-2020, as opposed to late 2019,” the firm said in the statement.

To assure steady supply, Orca continued to optimise the refrigeration system at the Songas facility and final performance testing is expected to commence during October.

“This follows recent adjustments to operational settings on the Songas facility that together is expected to see processing capacity return to approximately 100 mmscfd,” the statement said.

Also, Orca is nearing completion of the front-end engineering and design for compression for the Songas facility.

Refrigeration and compression will work in harmony to address declining reservoir pressure to ensure maximum production levels can be sustained, subject to demand, through to the end of the PSA licence in 2026.

“Alongside this, Orca is developing plans to work over three onshore wells to address corrosion, sand and water issues,” the statement said.

This May, Tanzania’s Energy Ministry said the country’s natural gas consumption had increased by 84 per cent to 59.2 billion cubic feet in 2018 from previous three years.

Tanzania, according to EAC, has developed a Natural Gas Master Plan for the sustainability of local gas needs and surplus for export

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Author: STANDARD Reporter

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