Thursday, 23 May 2013

Tanzanian gas pipeline plan sparks riot

Residents of a gas-rich region of Tanzania rioted to protest that they would not benefit from a government budget proposal to construct a pipeline from their territory to the capital.
Tanzania estimates it has more than 40 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of recoverable natural gas reserves. Discoveries off east Africa's seaboard have led to predictions the region could become the world's third-largest exporter of natural gas.
Residents of the southern Tanzanian Mtwara region are opposing the construction of a 532 km (330 mile) pipeline - financed by a $1.2 billion Chinese loan - until they get a bigger share of the benefits from gas development.
Tanzania's deputy home affairs minister, Pereira Silima, said riots had erupted in Mtwara but could not give details. Local media reported that police fired teargas, several buildings were torched and one person was killed.
The state-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) said Mtwara was one of two regions in southern Tanzania where onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants will be built.
Norway's Statoil, Brazil's Petrobras, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil Corp are among energy companies exploring for oil and gas in Tanzania.
British gas firm BG Group said earlier this month it would present the Tanzanian government with proposed locations for a big LNG terminal in the next few months.

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