13 October 2010 (Source: Daily News)

ORCA Exploration has said that it has successfully managed to raise 19.33 million US dollars (about 29bn/-) to finance a gas project in Tanzania. The company’s Chairman who also doubles as Chief Executive Officer, Mr W. David Lyons said in a statement from Canada whose copy was availed to the ‘Daily News’ in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday that the funds were raised by the shareholders. Orca, which owns Pan African Energy, intends to use the money primarily to drill the Songo Songo West exploration later next year.

He said that part of the funds would be used to develop the energy infrastructure at the East African region through the newly formed division of Orca, EastCoast Transmission and Marketing.

“We are delighted with the success which is a big boost on our plans to expand”, he said. He said that the company which has a working capital of 47 million US dollars in its coffers said that the new funds would be mainly used to drill two low risks but high impact wells.

The funds are also intended to expedite commercialization of the company’s existing gas reserves in the country by improving the existing infrastructure. Mr Lyons further said that the company will also spend part of the money to drill a well in Italy after sorting out some legal issues regarding offshore drilling.

Orca Exploration is an international public company engaged in natural gas exploration, development and supply in Tanzania and Italy. When contacted for comments, Principal Public Relations Officer with the Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA) Titus Kaguo said he was aware of the new development by the company.

“This is good news and we are waiting for them to write us officially and we will act from there,” he said, Orca also wants to construct a 600-kilometre pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa, Kenya which will be ready by the end of 2012.