Simon Nkenyeli

Simon Nkenyeli

Senior Petroleum Geologist

Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority Interim Team (PIC), Tanzania


SESSION 19:  Rationale, Roles and Challenges of Petroleum Upstream Reguratory Environment in Tanzania

Tanzania is endowed with abundant petroleum resources that have been proved by the exploration efforts that started back in 1952. The exploration evolution efforts since then have resulted into discoveries of significant natural gas resources that amounted to about 8TCF in 2005 and more than 57TCF in 2015. Despite the exploration efforts above, huge discoveries in the deep offshore area were made for the first time in 2010.

Following the rapid growth of the petroleum industry in Tanzania, in 2015 the Government decided to review and Enact New Policy (Energy Policy 2015) to provide framework for strengthening regulatory and institutional arrangements and safeguard the Government interests in the upstream petroleum industry. Such decision among others resulted into establishment of the new Act “the Petroleum Act, 2015” and establishment of the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA) aimed to provide proper guidance on the management of the country’s petroleum resources and ensure that the country benefit from the endowed natural resources while ensuring investors’ return of their investment and appropriate profit to shareholders. In addition, the new established framework provides clarity of roles and responsibilities between the Government institutions.

Under the new institutional arrangement, PURA is fully fledged to regulate the technical and economic aspects for the petroleum upstream activities. The Ministry is mandated only to policy making and approving key decision gates for the national interest while, TPDC is fully fledged as the National Oil Company to carrying out commercial interest of the Government through direct participation like other investors.

This paper therefore discusses the establishment of PURA and highlights challenges it faces before coming into fully operational Regulatory Authority.