ZANZIBAR may force existing licence holders to reapply for long-held acreage onshore and offshore, following the Tanzanian government’s agreement to transfer petroleum matters into the hands of the semi-autonomous administration.

The first reading of Zanzibar’s nascent Petroleum E&P Bill was tabled before the House of Representatives in Stonetown last week, enabling parliamentary discussion to commence on budgetary allocations for the upstream sector.

“Only then after initial debate can the Bill be presented for a second reading if Cabinet permits, possibly within two months, so that consensus can be reached on a full package for presidential assent in the next session possibly later this year or early 2017,” a senior petroleum official told Upstream.