Interview: Gas is key to powering industrialisation drive

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Bio

  • 2015-Jan 2018: Dr Ottøy is senior VP operations, development and Production Norway.
  • 2003: Principal engineer and then senior roles within Equinor. Held several positions responsible for the offshore and onshore operations of Equinor installations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
  • 2016—2018: Board member, the Norwegian Petroleum Association
  • 1997—2009: External examiner at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  • Education: PhD Biotechnology (Polymer Chemistry) and a Masters in Chemistry, both from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

By BEATRICE MATERU

The Equinor country manager Mette H. Ottøy spoke to Beatrice Materu about the energy firm’s rebranding and the future of its oil and gas exploration in Tanzania.

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Why did Statoil change its name to Equinor?

The name change was occasioned by our evolution into a broader energy company, a company not only focusing on oil and gas but also renewable energy. But this is just a change of name.

The ownership structure remains unchanged as does our focus on developing resources discovered in Block 2 offshore Tanzania.

Equinor has been in Tanzania since 2007. What have you accomplished over this period?

Equinor Tanzania signed a production sharing agreement with Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) in 2007 and started exploration activities in Block 2 offshore Tanzania in 2011.

Equinor Tanzania is the operator with a 65 per cent working interest with ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Ltd as a partner.

In total, 15 exploration and appraisal wells have been completed and nine out of 15 drilled wells have been successful, with gas estimated at more than 20 trillion cubic feet.

How significant is Tanzania to Equinor’s global operations?

The Tanzania gas project is one of our most important international projects and has been given high priority.

We acknowledge the importance of gas development in Tanzania and as operators of Block 2.

Equinor shares Tanzania’s vision of developing natural gas resources to contribute to the country’s socio-economic transformation.

The success of the LNG project is key for this to happen.

What is the project’s status?

It is still in the early stages. We are optimistic that the Host Government Agreement, which sets the commercial and fiscal framework for the project, will be drafted and agreed upon soon.

After that, construction of the plant is estimated to take four to five years and production is expected to last more than 30 years.

Why is the LNG project significant for Tanzania?

The LNG project will be by far the largest in Tanzania.

When realised, the project will generate substantial benefits for the country, including domestic gas, which can be used to support the country’s realisation of Vision 2025, especially in terms of electrification and industrialisation.

The government will benefit from direct tax, income from TPDC and indirect taxes from other economic activities around the project.

In addition to these benefits, there will be opportunities for Tanzanian suppliers and workers, during the construction phase and also long-term during the operations phase.

The project will be a substantial supplier of gas to the domestic market and is well placed to feed into the existing gas pipeline to supply Dar and beyond.

How much gas will go to the domestic market?

Equinor will supply up to 10 per cent of the natural gas for use in the domestic market, which has the potential to produce twice the amount of electricity that Tanzania currently produces.

  • Culled from The EastAfrican

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