Tanzania plans to present a new natural gas bill to parliament in November, the country’s Energy and Minerals Minister said on Monday, as the East African nation steps up efforts formulate a regulatory framework for its fledgling oil and gas sector.Sospeter Muhongo said the government expects to get the final input from various stakeholders on draft legislation in the next few weeks. The legislation, which is expected to pass in the first quarter of 2015, is designed to unlock huge investments in the country’s fast-growing natural gas sector.
“The draft natural gas bill is complete and will be presented to parliament in November,” Mr. Muhongo said in the ministry’s 2014-15 budget report. “Completion of relevant policies and laws will strengthen the supervision of the oil and natural gas sector for the benefit of present and future generations.”
Exploration companies have discovered more than 45 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the past few years, according to analysts, with at least 83% of the discovered reserves in deep-sea offshore blocks. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that East Africa’s coastal region holds up to 441 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.