World Bulletin/News Desk
Tanzania plans to raise royalties on gas and demand signature bonuses for energy contracts as the east African nation tries to secure bigger benefits from major offshore discoveries.
Tanzania recently tripled its estimated gas reserves and is fast becoming a regional energy hub after finds by Norwegian oil company Statoil, U.S. group ExxonMobil and Britain's BG Group and its partner Ophir Energy.
Energy and Minerals Minister Sospeter Muhongo said royalties on gas production would rise from 12.5 percent to an unspecified level and the new signing fee would be introduced under a new gas policy, masterplan and law now being drafted.
In a presentation to parliament, he said it would take effect in 2012/13.
Tanzania is one of the world's poorest countries. Like its east African neighbours, it is now positioning itself for a gas bonanza.
Last month, it raised its estimate of recoverable natural gas reserves to 28.74 trillion cubic feet (tcf) from 10 trillion.
Muhongo said Tanzania would launch a new licensing round in Houston, Texas, in September for additional oil and gas exploration blocks in its deep-sea area.
"The government will review existing contracts and conduct a detailed evaluation before entering into new production sharing agreements for oil and gas to ensure national interests are upheld," he said.
He said at least 18 global energy companies had spent nearly $920 million on oil and gas exploration.
As part of its plan to get more from its gas, Muhongo said Tanzania would own a new gas pipeline and processing plants. Construction started last week on a 532-km (330 mile) pipeline financed with a $1.2 billion Chinese loan.
The minister said Tanzania hopes to build two gas-powered plants to produce 390 megawatts of power at a combined cost of $598 million - reducing its reliance on hydro electric power which has proved vulnerable to drought.
Loan agreements would be reached in September with the Japan Bank of International Cooperation and South Africa's Absa Bank for construction of one of the plants, meant to produce 240MW, he said.
Forty percent of Tanzania's 1,375 MW capacity came from natural gas by the end of June compared to 1,014 MW a year earlier. Peak demand rose to 820 MW from 730 MW.
The case has been closely watched due to the potentially high damages award and the opportunity to peek into the world of Silicon Valley's elite.
The currency move was part of wider actions by Russian banks to repatriate funds to Russia, lowering their exposure to the risks of possible wider Western sanctions
With memories of riots at the pumps when cheap fuel was rationed for the first time, in 2007, police are on the alert, but do not expect trouble, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said
Slovak Economy Minister Tomas Malatinsky said a deal allowing shipment of the gas via an unused pipeline between the two countries was almost ready.
Much lawmaking in Europe, including a sweeping overhaul of banking, is wrapped up in talks between diplomats and lawmakers with no public record of who attended or what was said
Thousands of workers at a factory in Dongguan in the Pearl River Delta run by Hong Kong-listed Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings , the world's largest shoe maker, have been on strike for more than 10 days
Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said last week that Russia could launch a dispute at the world trade body to challenge U.S. sanctions.
A Gazprom source said the $11.4 billion was in addition to the $2.2 billion that Naftogaz already owes for supplies in 2013 and 2014 so far.
Tech giant Apple reported Wednesday a 4.6 percent increase to $45.6 billion in quarterly revenue, beating market expectations after selling 43.7 million iPhones.
The six-day meeting is expected to discuss the CFTA's objectives, the principles that will guide negotiations for the free trade area, and the institutional arrangements needed to conduct negotiations.
Russia has proposed from European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger for a three-way meeting on gas between Russia
The southern African country, which ditched its hyper-inflated local currency in 2009, is facing a serious dollar crunch as a result of lack of foreign donor support and investment
The European Commission, in charge of policing member states' public finances, is expected to respond to French projections in early June after European parliamentary elections
The Australian purchase is a signal of confidence in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme, which is about 70 percent over budget and years behind schedule
Executives say a plan is needed to tackle surging inflation as economic recession looms.
An agreement between the United States and Japan is crucial for setting the tone for other countries engaged in the TPP