Initial socio-economic and environmental aspects of petroleum sector development in Tanzania
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Recent gas discoveries made in the south-eastern parts of Tanzania indicates a huge potential for gas reserves in the country. President Kikwete has expressed expectations that petroleum resources could lead to a resource blessing for the country. However, the designated blocks for exploration and drilling activities are located in sensitive marine environments, which are important for the livelihoods of the country’s coastal communities and biodiversity. This study provides an initial analysis of socio-economic and environmental aspects of petroleum sector development in Tanzania, with a special focus on the coastal areas where the industry’s activities are mainly located. Attention has been focused on institutions, companies and petroleum-related assistance programs that are involved in the Tanzanian petroleum sector, and how rights and responsibilities are shared between these. Six Tanzanian institutions, one Norwegian petroleum company, two assistance programs and one investor corporation were investigated. Accordingly, their roles and responsibilities were assessed to better understand how petroleum management is characterised by certain features, rules devised to constrain actions, institutional attributes and interactions. To explore the interrelationship between social and natural systems, several underlying factors were analysed that may increase or decrease the vulnerability and resilience of petroleum development in the coastal system. Corruption, wealth inequalities, disregard for people’s rights and lack of regulations were considered as factors that may compromise the resilience of the system. In addition, factors that may enhance or detract robustness from key institutions were analysed to better understand the robustness of the management system. This involved issues of funding, infrastructure, and access to financial and human resources. Overall, the thesis scrutinises the early developments of gas and oil development in Tanzania, and related socio-economic and environmental challenges and opportunities. By drawing upon examples from countries with long histories of petroleum (Norway and Nigeria), the study offers a brief analysis of the overarching objectives of resource and environmental management, the ecosystems under management and the institutions involved in or granted a standing in resource decisions.