Zanzibar seeks oil and gas exploration bids in debut offshore licensing round

March 20, 2024

(WO) – The Government of Zanzibar and Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries launched Zanzibar’s 1st Licensing Round, which invites bids for 8 blocks totaling 31,883 km².

The blocks, situated offshore to the east of the Unguja and Pemba Islands within water depths between 500 m and 3,000 m, represent a large frontier area and form part of a five-year exploration road map. The blocks that will be offered under the 1st Licensing Round include Block 1-A, Block 1-B, Block 1-C, Block 1-D, Block 1-E, Block 1-F, Block 1-G, and Block 1-H. 

The Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries has defined the bid round areas through prospectivity assessment with encouraging results with exclusive data supplier, SLB. A total of 10,145 linear km of 2D seismic data is available pertaining to the blocks.

Strategically located, and benefiting from political, social and economic stability, Zanzibar aims to build a resilient economy for the benefit of its people through the sustainable development of its offshore petroleum resources.

That strong political will to drive investment is coupled with renewed fiscal terms to enhance the investor environment in the oil and gas sector, including the constitutional protection of private investments. 

Reflecting the flexibility offered around licensing options, Honourable Shaaban Ali Othman, Minister for Blue Economy and Fisheries adds, “I would like to assure the exploration and production companies and investors that our doors are open.”

“We are looking forward to your engagement with the Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries and our regulator, Zanzibar Petroleum Regulatory Authority.”

Zanzibar Petroleum Regulatory Authority (ZPRA) Managing Director, Adam Abdulla Makame commented, “In order to ensure its statutory roles are undertaken in a safe, healthy and adherence to good environmental practices and in the end deliver maximum benefits to the Zanzibaris, ZPRA continues committed to ensure a conducive environment for investors. We welcome potential industry partners to reach out to Zanzibar’s regulator to engage in discussions.”

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