Tanzania’s state-owned energy companies appear to be making progress in paying down debts according to recent statements from Wentworth Resources and Aminex.
Wentworth, on July 19, said payments had been received from Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. (TPDC) and Tanesco. These are US$1.2 million net to Wentworth, it said, bringing the total paid this year to US$7.9 million. Receivables from TPDC are consistent at four months outstanding, it said, while Tanesco has reduced its backlog from 13 months to eight months.
Wentworth, which is part of the Mnazi Bay development, said the partners were working with the government to settle outstanding invoices.
Aminex, on July 20, said it had received another payment from TPDC for production from Kiliwani. The company did not reveal how much was owed but said it was working with the Tanzanian company to bring arrears up to date.
The Kiliwani North-1 well has averaged 425,000 cubic metres per day this year. Wentworth said production from Mnazi Bay had fallen, as increased hydropower production. April and May are the rainy months and since these ended, gas demand has increased.
June averaged 1.27 mcm per day, bringing the average in the second quarter to 878,000 cubic metres per day. July thus far has increased further, reaching 2 mcm per day, following maintenance work on the pipeline system. The company continues to expect 2017 will average 1.13-1.42 mcm per day.
Tanzania recently brought in three bills on the extractive sector, potentially giving the country the opportunity to rewrite contracts. Wentworth said it had carried out a review of these and came to the conclusion that it would not have a material impact on its operations.
“We are pleased to have received further payments from TPDC and TANESCO, which demonstrates their commitment to settle invoices as soon as practicable. The payments received [for the] year to date have enabled the company to meet its obligations and we continue, along with our operator, Maurel et Prom, to work with the government to resolve the payment delays and clear all arrears,” said Wentworth’s managing director, Geoff Bury. “It is very encouraging to see production volumes increase post the end of the rainy season and we remain confident in achieving our production guidance for the year.”
Maurel et Prom, the operator of Mnazi Bay, raised warnings in June that a shortfall in payments would reduce its ability to carry out maintenance. The company said that, rather than take risks, it would shut down production.