Home » Nigerian oil tycoon Michael Prest’s Petrodel to revive gas production in Tanzania

Nigerian oil tycoon Michael Prest’s Petrodel to revive gas production in Tanzania

by Omokolade Ajayi
Michael J. Prest

Petrodel Resources, an oil and gas reserve development and energy company led by Nigerian multimillionaire businessman Michael Prest, has announced plans to restart operations in Tanzania.

As part of this strategic shift, Petrodel will invest about $80 million to meet its first well commitments in Tanga, and a total of $20 million to complete final and additional seismic work in both Kimbiji and Latham to bring the fields into production.

It is estimated that it will take two years to complete the required infrastructure.

Gas production and shipments are expected to begin in 2025. All three fields will require large labor forces and should provide much-needed job opportunities in the surrounding areas.

According to Prest, the current global demand and supply deficit, combined with positive investment sentiments emanating from Tanzania’s new pro-reform government, make critical the further development of its interests in Tanzania.

“I believe President Samia Hassan’s stable investment platform is a good omen for both Tanzania and Petrodel,” Prest said. “We look forward to working with the government to make these opportunities a reality.”

Petrodel Resources was founded in 2001 by Prest, a reclusive oil trader and former protege of controversial commodities trader Marc Rich. The company has significant oil exploration assets in Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, and Uganda.

Petrodel owns the Tanga, Kimbiji, and Latham licenses in Tanzania, which it purchased in 2006.

The group’s decision to restart operations in Tanzania is part of a concerted effort to boost gas production, which is part of the group’s strategic expansion roadmap.

Home to Sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest gas resources, with reserves estimated at 57.5 trillion cubic feet, Tanzania has recently become a haven for investors and businesses, attracting a large number of direct investments.

Earlier this year, BHP Group, a publicly-traded company owned by the Anglo-Australian multinational miner, announced plans to invest $100 million in one of Kabanga’s nickel projects in Tanzania, as the demand for the metal used in batteries rises.

OreCorp Limited, an Australian-based minerals company, has recently announced plans to de-merge its western Australian exploration assets to focus on developing the Nyanzaga Gold Project in Tanzania.

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