Lusaka, Zambia | – The Zambian government has awarded a petroleum exploration licence to Tullow Oil Zambia over block 31 for explorations in Luapula and Northern Provinces following an open bidding process.
Tullow Zambia is one of Africa’s leading Independent oil and gas companies which was founded 30 years ago. Speaking during the signing ceremony in Lusaka yesterday, Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma said the process signified Government’s commitment to transparency and fairness in awarding exploration blocks for oil and gas.
“Block 31 is among other blocks with high potential for oil and gas due to its location within the rift area where oil exploration has proved successful in countries like Kenya and Uganda,” Mr Yaluma said.
The Minister said his ministry appreciated and recognised Tullow Oil‘s experience and success in the rift valley and was confident that successful exploration would be replicated in Zambia.
And Mr Yaluma said Government had commenced reviewing the petroleum: exploration and production Act of 2008, with special focus on fiscal terms and other relevant clauses in the Act, to enhance and support the oil and gas exploration in Zambia.
He said this would help the country become more competitive in this sub sector in the region.
Witnessing the signing ceremony was British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane-Dyet, Minister of Justice Ngosa Simbyakula, Works and Supply Minister Yamfwa Mukanga and Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe.
Tullow Oil Plc vice president exploration Ian Cloke said the petroleum exploration licence the company has been awarded, presented an exciting opportunity.
Dr Cloke said, over the course of the next two years, the company had committed to undertaking geological and geochemical studies, passive seismic as well as a Full Tensor Gravity (FTG) survey.
He explained that if Tullow would be successful in identifying promising prospects, the company would agree with the Government to progress with the exploration programme.
Dr Cloke said the company could potentially spend at least US$69 million over the period.