By SIMON MUNTEMBA
ZAMBIA will soon have its own oil production as substantial progress has been made in exploration works, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Richard Musukwa has said.
Mr Musukwa expressed confidence that the country would soon have its first oil production in view of the ongoing exploration works.
“Soon the issue of fuel shortage will be a thing of the past because Government has made substantial progress on the exploration works by Geo Petroleum Limited, MaFula Energy and Sargas Oil Limited in petroleum exploration blocks,” he said.
He explained that the ministry has demarcated 38 blocks of petroleum exploration covering Northern, Muchinga, Luapula, Southern, Western, North-Western and Central provinces, out of which 12 had been granted exploration licences.
Mr Musukwa indicated that exploration works were at different stages in each of the blocks with others making substantial progress.
Some of them, he said, were still awaiting the necessary statutory approval before they could commence exploration works.
He said Government was in a hurry to discover petroleum and committed to ensuring that extensive exploration works were done to boost investment attraction in the sector.
Mr Musukwa said that Government was currently reviewing the Petroleum Act number 10 of 2008 and its subsidiary legislation to make investment in the petroleum upstream sector attractive.