President Edgar Lungu has launched oil exploration works by Tullow Zambia BV in block 31 covering Luapula and Northern Provinces, describing the launch as a major milestone in efforts to accelerate progress towards Vision 2030 in line with the 7th National Development Plan.
Speaking during the launch of the full Tensiometer Gravity (FTG) survey today, President Lungu said the launch represents a key milestone for oil and gas exploration in Zambia, being the first survey of its kind to be carried out.
He says the growth of the of an oil and gas sector is a key pillar of government’s diversification policy and that government is working hard to create the necessary regulatory and fiscal measures to guide the development of this sector to ensure it unlocks value for all the Zambian people.
President Lungu says oil and gas development can and should be a game changer for any country particularly a fast industrialising economy such as Zambia.
He has emphasized that every stage of the project will need to be designed and executed to safeguard and realize the relevant environmental and social benefits, and uphold the huighest governance standards.
He notes that by partnering with a Zambian company, Geo Petroleum Limited to develop the asset, Tullow is creating local jobs and strengthening the country’s human capital.
President Lungu further noted that listed on the London, Irish and Ghanaian Stock exchanges, Tullow oil has built an enviable track record in oil and gas discoveries in Ghana in 2016,and major discoveries in Uganda and Kenya.
He has since assured Tullow and other petroleum exploration companies that government will complete the revision of legislation for the petroleum industry to create clarity and to establish a conducive and fair regulatory environment.
The Head of State adds that the ministry of mines and minerals development is also undertaking capacity-building programmes to strengthen the administration and management of the oil and gas industry to prepare the country for the development of this sector.
Meanwhile President Lungu says he has no more time for fruitless talk and meaningless politicking.
Speaking at the same event, Tullow Oil Executive Vice President Ian Cloke assured government and Zambians of maximum benefit and opportunity sharing basing his company’s commitment on testimonies in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.
Mr. Cloke says the natural resources to be discovered through the aerial geophysics survey of exploration of oil and gas in Zambia belong to the people of Zambia.