Jacka Resources Ltd is pleased to announce that it is in exclusive negotiations for the award of oil and gas exploration and production rights over the entire Ruhuhu Basin, an onshore area of some 8,400 sq km, following an offer by the Tanzania Petroleum and Development Corporation (TPDC). The offer is subject to negotiation of a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) over the coming weeks. Jacka will hold 100% equity and will be the operator of the licence. The offer for the Ruhuhu Block comes after several months of discussions with the TPDC regarding oil and gas exploration for this and other blocks in the country.
Mr Scott Spencer, Director of Jacka, commented: 'We are delighted to be in negotiations for the Ruhuhu Block and to enter Tanzania, where several other parts of the country are of interest to Jacka. The Block is well positioned to provide access to the East African Rift, where many countries are enjoying successful exploration campaigns. 'Furthermore, Jacka's East Africa strategy is beginning to take effect with this new country (and block) entry, as well as our announcement last month of a Joint Bidding Agreement with Pancontinental Oil and Gas for East African opportunities. 'I am especially pleased to re-enter East Africa after a highly successful campaign several years ago with Hardman Resources which led to the initial exploration discoveries around Lake Albert in Uganda, an area that now has more than 1 billion barrels of oil proven around the lake. I would like to thank the TPDC for this opportunity and all of us at Jacka look forward to working with them to conclude negotiations for the award and begin the work program.'
Tanzania is underexplored but is fast becoming an international oil and gas exploration hot spot. The country has grabbed petroleum industry headlines over the past 12 months following the announcement of three sizeable, offshore gas discoveries by an Ophir Energy-led joint venture. It is now attracting the attention of industry leaders, with companies such as Shell, Statoil, Total, Petrobras, Exxon and Tullow entering the country. Tanzania is considered to have significant exploration potential within the offshore deepwater blocks and within the onshore ‘ East African Rift’ basins, located in the central and western parts of the country.
The NE-SW trending Ruhuhu Basin in southern Tanzania is one of a chain of Karoo basins across southern Africa formed during the break up of Pangea in the late Carboniferous/early Permian period. The basin is located fully onshore and abuts Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) on the North East shores. Conventional and unconventional exploration plays exist, with potential for multiple charge systems being a significant de-risking feature:
- The basal Ruhuhu section contains post-glacial, early Permian lacustrine shales, rich in TOC (total organic content) and modeled to have reached oil mid-maturity within the basin. These lacustrine shales are genetically related to those that have sourced the heavy oil in the Bemolanga tar sands of west Madagascar (reported resource of 22 billion barrels).
- The Ruhuhu Basin is truncated to the west by the Lake Malawi (Nyasa) basin of the modern East African Rift (EAR). The Nyasa Basin contains TOC rich sediments similar to those of the genetically related Albertine graben in western Uganda, where one billion barrels of oil reserves have been proven since 2006.