Tanzania May Become ‘Major’ Gas Producer by Decade-End, IMF Says

Tanzania will see increased investment in gas exploration over the next five years, and the industry could become a major source of revenue for the East Africa nation by 2020, the International Monetary Fund said.

“Tanzania’s prospects of becoming a major producer of natural gas by the end of the decade appear good,” the Washington-based lender said in an e-mailed statement late yesterday. “There could be large foreign direct investment inflows over the next five years and a substantial increase in exports and government revenue beginning around 2020.”

The country has two gas deposits in commercial production. Songo Songo holds 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, while Mnazi Bay, near the border with Mozambique, has 2 trillion cubic feet, the state-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. said in October 2010.

Changes to some of the country’s policies are planned by the government to ensure the expected increase in gas revenues will support the economy, the IMF said.

“Successfully managing this future gas wealth will be critical,” it said.

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