Offshore gas investments in East Africa seen at USD 994mn next year.

By bne IntelliNews November 26, 2012
Investments in offshore exploration of natural gas in East Africa are expected to peak at USD 994mn in the next 12 months, The EastAfrican reported, quoting an analysis by Ecobank. The investments will go into the drilling of 33 exploration wells, but also into infrastructure developments, construction of pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, power plants and storage tanks. The regions reserves of about 176.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are concentrated in Mozambique and Tanzania, which are the only producing countries. However, Tanzania is producing gas only for domestic use, and it will need midstream investments to start exports, which depend also on future gas discoveries. U.S. ExxonMobil and Norways StatOil produce gas in Tanzania, while another major global producer, BG Group, is also considering building a LNG plant in the country. Mozambique currently exports natural gas to South Africa via an overland pipeline. Ecobank forecast that by 2018 East Africa could supply 36 million tonnes of LNG per year to Asia, where the growing markets of Japan, India, China and South Korea are predicted to require large quantities of natural gas to run their industries. What is currently lacking is strong legal and regulatory framework to underpin and keep pace with commercial exploration, development, and production of the regions gas resources, according to the Ecobank report. In the past two years, East Africa has had the most discoveries of gas and oil globally.

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