SWALA Oil & Gas has secured an extension to its planned drill dates for two wells it aims to drill in Tanzania. Swala, which is operator of a joint venture that covers the Kilosa-Kilombero and Pangani licences in Tanzania, will now have until 20 February 2017 to drill an exploration well in each licence.

However, this one-year extension will be deducted from an additional four-year exploration period which was due to start on 20 February 2016 – meaning the additional exploration period will last for only three years.

Swala chief executive David Mestres Ridge said the joint venture was grateful to the Tanzanian Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) for what he said was their “pragmatic flexibility”.

“In June, Swala Oil and Gas (Tanzania) plc appointed an operations manager with responsibility for the drilling campaign and it is in the process of engaging a consultant to carry out the environmental impact assessments for the drill locations,” he said.

It had also been carrying out further interpretation of a seismic survey completed in December 2014 with the TPDC, but said this had left it little time to confirm drilling locations and secure long lead-time items.

“The extension of the time limit for completing the exploration drilling allows the joint venture to continue its preparatory work with the comfort that all steps are being taken to maximise the chances of success and minimise costs whilst not compromising on either health, safety or environmental integrity,” he said.

The other party to the Kilosa-Kilombero and Pangani licences is Otto Energy, which holds a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture.