Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Drilling test for oil undertaken along the coast

THE company prospecting for oil and natural gas at Ruvu Block in Coast Region namely Dodsal Hydrocarbons and Power Tanzania will conduct a drill stem test at the exploration area to find out feasibility of the discovery after presenting a work plan to the government. Last week, the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, announced that the company had discovered 2.17 trillion cubic feet (tcf) at the block. Officials of Dodsal estimate that the reserve is worth US $6 billion dollars (about 12trl/-). According to an online information bank, Wikipedia, a drill stem test (DST) is a procedure for isolating and testing the pressure, permeability and productive capacity of a geological formation during the drilling of a well. The test is an important measurement of pressure behaviour at the drill stem and is a valuable way of obtaining information on the formation fluid and establishing whether a well has found a commercial hydrocarbon reservoir. “So far the company has drilled one well at Mambambakofi- 1 at the block which has been discovered with 2.17 trillion cubic feet (tcf)”, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC)’s Director of Upstream Operations, Mr Kelvin Komba, explained at a news conference. 

Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, 

In total, the company drilled three wells in Ruvu Block but two of them have not showed positive results. He added; “Initial tests such as ‘wire-line logging’ as well as ‘pressure versus depth’ and laboratory tests have been conducted and proved the presence of a gas reservoir at the block.” The explanation by TPDC sought to clarify a report in a ‘Kiswahili’ daily newspaper yesterday which had casted doubts on the new discovery, citing what it described as “flaws in the exploration procedures.” “The new Petroleum Act which came into force in September last year requires the contractor at an exploration block to present to the government appraisal programme after which it will be allowed to drill more wells to carry out drill stem tests,” Mr Komba expounded. Through the new legislation, a contractor is required to inform the government of any discovery within 48 hours. The Petroleum Act, 2015 repealed The Petroleum (Exploration and Productions) Act, 1980 and The Petroleum Act, 2008. The new finding by the United Arab Emirates (UAE)- based company at Ruvu Block brings the sum of discovered natural gas reserves to 57.27 tcf in both offshore and onshore wells. Other discoveries have been made in Songo Songo Island in Lindi Region, Mnazi Bay in Mtwara and Mkuranga in Coast Region.

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