Petrostate Blog for the period 25.12.2017 to 07.01.2018

At this usually slack turn-of-the-year time, writers and commentators take the opportunity to look back at what happened in 2017 and venture guesses and advice for 2018. A broad view on many issues are given in the Quarts News Service Africa that among other things look at “How the African economies tipped to thrive in 2017 actually performed”

Somewhat closer to home Prof Premji takes a broad look at political issues and cautions political parties to give due credit to others – or show how differently they would have effectively gone about development. DW columnist Anaclet Rwegayura ponders What 2018 holds in store for Tanzania. Dambisa Moyo, well-known critic of the role of aid, argues that aid reaches the relatively rich in urban areas.

President Trump’s long awaited tax relief package was passed 20th December and was well received by American producers including oil companies. The measures would help companies reinvest into new production and innovative technologies that will keep American energy affordable for U.S. consumers and create opportunities for the U.S. workforce.

Further on the “Trump” tax relief package, James S. Henry, investigative economist and senior adviser at the Tax Justice Network calls it “one of the largest transfers of public wealth to private elites and corporations in U.S. history”. In addition, he argues that the package has already started a global tax “race to the bottom”. He claims that recent tax cuts by, among others, Australia, Austria, Norway, France and Argentina are direct effects of the US “tax relief”. Concluding, he delivers the following parting shot:” It is one thing for America’s aging elite, their enablers, donors, and friends on Wall Street to infect themselves and their offspring with affluenza, an unhealthy obsession with the accumulation of unlimited private wealth and power. It is quite another to infect the entire rest of the world with it.

There were still problems near the Mozambican petro hub Mocímboa de Praia, close to the Tanzanian border. At the end of November, unidentified attackers killed two villagers, burned dozens of homes and destroyed a church in the same region. Now, a security crackdown will target Tanzanians accused of “terrorism” after a spate of attacks in the country’s north, blamed by authorities on jihadists.

Just at the end of the year, Tanzanian authorities threatened to shut down churches which mix religion and politics after a cleric criticized President John Magufuli.

Gas producers still look to improve their taxation systems. In the latest move the Ukrainian parliament voted for a lower tax rate for gas production and imposed a moratorium on raising royalties. The new law amends the tax code, with a lower incentive rent rate for gas production from new wells and takes effect on January 1.

Prof Erik Nordman argues against the controversial coal-fired power plant proposed for Lamu (a Unesco World Heritage site), saying that although the Lamu power seemingly will be cheap, pricing does not include the costs of pollution, including greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2). When these are factored in, the full price of coal-fired electricity is much less attractive.

In the financial sector the holidays have not been too peaceful!: In  a move only three weeks after president Magufuli directed such action, the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has revoked business licenses for five banks due to the breaching of core capital rules.

Mining money is rolling in! Diamond miner Petra has paid $4.08 million to the Tanzanian government in royalties, corporate taxes, and mining fees license this year. The firm says that it invested a further $114.3 million in the Tanzanian economy through capital, wages, social investment, training and supplies.

Tanzania has recorded a sharp decline of fish stocks in the Indian Ocean, blamed on the use of dynamite fishing and overfishing.  Recent reports from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries note that sea pirates have been fishing illegally in deep waters using dynamite. Although it does not seem that the exploration and drilling in the Indian Ocean has had deleterious effects for fish stocks, the reasons for decline should be watched closely in future.

Tanzania Midstream Oil and Gas Industry Outlook to 2022 – Market Forecasts for Oil Storage, Pipelines and Gas Processing has been published. The report provides details such as name, type, operational status and operator for all active and planned (new build) oil storage terminals, major trunk pipelines and gas processing plants in Tanzania until 2022. Further, the report also offers recent developments and latest awarded contracts in the country’s midstream sector. The report however comes at a considerable cost.

The Petro Project communications staff at REPOA in Tanzania and at CMI in Norway wish all its readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!

 

The Tanzania Petrostate Programme Blog is produced by the joint programme of three institutions: REPOA and the NBS in Tanzania, and CMI in Norway. The purpose of the blog is to draw attention to publications and reports on the gas and petroleum sectors, which may be of interest to researchers, politicians and the general public. The blog does not state opinions but merely links to relevant postings on the world wide web with a brief description and/or quotes of the content and opinions stated by authors.

The Petrostate Programme runs a website at http://www.tanpetstate.org/ where the participating institutions and researchers are presented and the aims of the programme, research results and publications are posted. The programme is also gradually building up a Resource Hub  (http://data.tanpetstate.org/) where researchers and other users can download important statistics and information pertaining to the petro sector and its effect on the Tanzanian economy and society. The database covers 20 categories including production and sales of petroleum products, environmental issues, poverty, public budgets etc.

The programme and its cooperating institutions are extremely grateful for constructive comments, advice on the blog and website as well as information on important web posting that deals with the petro sector and its role in Tanzania.

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