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    Zanzibar launches inaugural oil and gas licensing round


There are eight offshore blocks on offer.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Africa, Security of Supply, Political, Licensing rounds, News By Country

Zanzibar launches inaugural oil and gas licensing round

Zanzibar on March 20 initiated its inaugural oil and gas licensing round, offering eight blocks situated on the eastern sides of the Unguja and Pemba Islands. These blocks range in size from 2,846 km² to 5,666 km² and are located within water depths ranging from 500m to 3,000m.

“The licensing round offers a large frontier area with untapped oil and gas potential. The basin’s evolution dates back to early-mid Jurassic which is analogous to the adjacent prolific East African basins,” the ministry of blue economy and fisheries said.

The eight blocks available in the first round—Block 1-A to Block 1-H—comprise a combined area of 31,883 km². The bid preparation, data access, purchase, and submission period extends from March 20 to September 16, with the bid submission deadline set for September 16. The evaluation of bids will take place from September 17 to November 16, with bid round awards expected to be announced on November 17 and 18.

The offshore Pemba-Zanzibar sub-basin is located along the East African coast, with the Lamu Basin to the north and the Mafia sub-basin to the south. 

"Several exploration wells have encountered oil and gas, and numerous oil seeps across the archipelago point to a functioning petroleum system. This deepwater offshore basin is considered a frontier zone and remains largely unexplored, promising significant exploration potential," the ministry said.