Natural gas consumption increases by 12.8pc

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 02:23 PM May 15 2024
Songo Songo natural gas plant.
Photo: File
Songo Songo natural gas plant.

Natural gas consumption went up by 12.8 percent during the fourth quarter of last year ended in December, compared to similar quarter of 2022, fueled by expand of demands by power generation plants.

Data by Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) show that power generating plans, which consume 85.6 percent of produced natural gas, consumed 18,524.8 million standard cubic feet (mscf) during the fourth quarter of last year, compared to 16,150.8 mscf consumed in Q4, 2022.

During the reported period, gas production amounted to 21,935.6mscf, an increase of 4.7 percent, compared to 20,948.1 mscf produced in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Production by Mnazi Bay fields, which accounts for 49.7 percent of total gas production in Tanzania, increased by 32 percent to 10,896.8 mscf from 8,257.7 mscf, while production at Songo Songo fields, which accounts for 50.3 percent of total production slowed by 13 percent to 11,038.8 mscf from 12,690.4 mscf respectively.

The increase in gas production was on account of a rise in demand by Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) for the generation of electricity.

Power generated by Tanesco increased to 2.2 million megawatt hour at the end of December last year, of which half is produced from natural gas, an increase from 1.9 million megawatts hour generated during the fourth quarter of 2022.

Natural gas is the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon, producing around half the carbon dioxide (CO2) and just one tenth of the air pollutants of coal when burnt to generate electricity.

The TPDC statistics shows consumption by industries, which account for 14.2 percent of total natural gas consumption slightly increased by 1.7 percent to 3,064.2 mscf at the end of the fourth quarter of last year from 3,011.9 mscf consumed in Q4, 2022.

Vehicle consumption of natural gas, which account for 0.2 percent of total consumption, more than doubled to 41.9 mscf from 17.1 mscf respectively.

However, households and others consumption declined by 11.6 percent and 1.5 percent to 1.1 mscf and 3 mscf respectively at the end of December 2023, compared to 1.2 mscf and 3 mscf recorded at the end of December 2022.

Tanzania's natural gas reserves stood at 57.5 trillion cubic feet, of which over 47 trillion cubic feet were to be found in offshore fields. That same year, natural gas production in the country amounted to some 57 billion cubic feet.

Despite of abundant gas reserves, the country accounts for 0.05 percent of global production, making it the world's 14th-largest producer. Plans are underway to construct the US$45 billion Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant.

Tanzania targets 2028 for the final investment decision that will make it the region’s LNG giant, with international oil companies Shell Plc and Norway’s Equinor ASA as the lead partners and the participating interest from the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).

The country has also developed the natural gas policy to provide guidance for the sustainable development and utilization of the natural gas resource and maximization of the benefits therefrom and contribute to the transformation and diversification of the Tanzanian economy”