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Shell Says Tanzania-Zanzibar Oil Accord Will Advance Exploration

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the largest European oil producer, said an agreement between Tanzania and Zanzibar on managing oil and gas resources will allow the company to advance exploration in the Indian Ocean.

Shell holds at least four exploration licenses off Zanzibar and is working with Petroleo Brasileiro SA on two off Tanzania, according to Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. The country’s President Jakaya Kikwete and Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein last month agreed to begin preparations for the management of oil and gas resources, the Daily News reported.

“We have acreage which we haven’t been developing because it’s effectively under both jurisdictions,” Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said. “Any agreement in fact is good news that would enable us to have that discussion about going ahead. It’s a positive step for us.”

Zanzibar, an archipelago including the main islands of Unguja and Pemba and at least 51 islets, is about 30 kilometers (19 miles) off the coast of Tanzania. The semi-autonomous Indian Ocean nation is in a political union with Tanzania.

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