Petrobras in Tanzania

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Petrobras Tanzania was the first international oil and gas company to take up an offshore gas block in Tanzania in 2001. The block Block 5 was awarded to Petrobras at the end of the first licensing round.[1] However, it was not until 2004 that Petrobras actually signed an agreement with the Government of Tanzania and with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) that formally stated its participation in the exploration of the block.[2]

The same year the company started its first exploration and research activities off the Tanzania coast.[3]

During the third licensing in 2005, a second offshore block ([Block 6]) was awarded to Petrobras and in 2008 Block 8 was directly awarded to the company.[4] In April 2011, Petrobras drilled the Zeta-1 well in Block 5, which was abandoned in 2012. [5]

Later in 2011, Petrobras partnered with Shell. Shell acquired a 50 percent interest in Block 5 and Block 6. Under the agreement, Petrobras remained the operator.[6]

In the same year, the drilling ship Ocean Rig Poseidon working for Petrobras was attacked by pirates. Seven pirates in a small boat attacked the drilling ship 82 miles from the port city of Dar es Salaam. The attack was stopped by security personnel and the Tanzanian navy. The pirates were arrested.[7]

In 2013, Petrobras farmed out its 12 percent stake of Block 6 to Statoil.[8] In June 2013, Petrobras announced that its subsidiary Petrobras International Braspetro B.V. (“PIBBV”), together with the investment vehicle owned and managed by BTG Pactual (“BTG Pactual Vehicle”), entered into a joint venture (at the ratio of half each) agreement for oil and gas exploration and production in Africa, which includes Tanzania. [9]


  1. New Offshore Licensing Round for Tanzania”, geoexpro, retrieved 05 April 2015.
  2. Petrobras confirms oil exploration deal”, energy-pedia, retrieved 05 April 2015.
  3. Global Presence”, Petrobras, retrieved 05 April 2015.
  4. Tanzania Deep Sea Licensing History”, “TPDC”, retrieved 01 December 2014.
  5. Petrobras Tanzania begins drilling for oil at Zeta-1 block ”, Daily Herald, retrieved 05 April 2015.
  6. Petrobras-Shell enter farm-out agreement for Tanzania blocks ”, rigzone, retrieved 05 April 2015.
  7. Petrobras drillship attacked”, gcaptain, retrieved 05 April 2015.
  8. Petrobras farms out Tanzania offshore block to Statoil”, Oil Review Africa, retrieved 05 April 2015.
  9. Tanzania”, Petrobras, retrieved 06 April 2015.