Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar on Tuesday launched special aircraft that will be used in exploring oil and gas in the Indian Ocean Islands.

UK-based Bell Geospace will use the aircraft for the exploration of oil and gas in all areas of land and sea including large and small islands of the archipelago.

Ambassador Seif Ali Idd, Zanzibar Second Vice-President described the launch of the special aircraft as an important milestone to the socio-economic development of the Isles.

“This exploration opens a new door in Zanzibar’s natural resources utilization,” he said.

Among other technologies that will be used in the exploration include the use of the Full Tensor Gravity Gradiometers (FTGS).

Ambassador Seif said that the oil and gas exploration work is an important step in the extraction of oil where it can take five years to come to an end.

Pemba-Zanzibar block has a proven hydrocarbon system, as evidenced by the Tundaua oil seep on Pemba Island and oil shows in previous exploration wells.

Multiple source rocks and petroleum reservoirs are anticipated and numerous prospects mapped. Approximately 75 percent of the license lies in water depths of less than 200 meters, with the islands of Pemba and Zanzibar providing the potential for on-shore directional drilling.

Ambassador Idd commended RAK Gas, the state natural gas utility of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for deploying the UK-based Bell Geospace.

He said that RAK Gas has been on the side of Zanzibar government.

A Geologist from RAK Gas of Ras Khaimah, Dr. Osama Abdella said that his company is committed to exploring gas in the Isles.

The leader of a team of researchers from Bell Geospace Enterprises, Stefan Kuna, said that the survey will take three months using FTGS.

He said that airborne survey are ideally suited to covering inaccessible areas quickly and also cause little disruption to communities on the ground.

“In order to record the best quality data we fly at a low level, typically only 120 meters above the ground, I should like to stress that the survey instruments are passive and do not emit any radiation or pose any hazard,” said Stefan.

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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