Our history

Our launch

Through its subsidiary, PAET, Orca signed the PSA with the Government of Tanzania and TPDC in 2001 and embarked on a three-year period of construction. In 2003, Orca started to recruit and train its local workforce, with first gas being produced the following year.

In 2004, construction was largely concluded and first gas was supplied to the Songas power generation plant in Dar es Salaam. In 2009, debottlenecking works were concluded enabling production from the field to be increased to 110mmscfd.

Following a research study in 2010, Orca made plans to increase production to 140mmscfd, which started with the drilling of the SS-12 well and was completed in 2016.

Increasing gas production and developing downstream markets

From 2004, Orca focused on increasing gas production and developing downstream markets. Several major industries took the opportunity to switch from traditional, expensive and highly pollutive liquid fuel systems to reliable, cleaner and considerably cheaper natural gas.

Field development was critical to keep pace with demand, and in 2007 Orca drilled Songo Songo’s first new well, SS-10.

Power and industrial demand grew steadily and in 2009, the Company undertook debottlenecking works at the Songas plant to enable production from the field to be increased to 110mmscfd.

In 2012, Orca drilled SS-11 further increasing gas production after the Company had secured a major contract to supply TANESCO, the state electricity company, to further increase power generation.

SS-12 Well

In 2015-16, Orca undertook a major offshore well workover program and drilled SS-12. The workover program brought corroded and non-producing wells back into production to address declining reservoir pressure and ensure contractual obligations could continue to be met.

The SS-12 well was the first of the Songo Songo gas wells to be dedicated to supply gas to the newly completed TPDC gas processing plant on Songo Songo. Although production to the plant did not commence immediately, the well significantly increased production potential and eventually afforded some redundancy in both production and processing capacity.

In 2019, to again address declining reservoir pressures and ensure Orca could continue to produce on specification gas, a feed gas refrigeration facility was installed on the Songas processing plant.

Songas completion and future prospects

In 2022, Orca completed the installation of feed gas compression on the Songas gas processing plant via 3 x 35mmscfd reciprocating gas compressors, the project restored plant production capacity to 105mmscfd. Later in 2022, Orca completed well workovers on onshore wells SS-3 and SS-10, and the side-track of SS-4.

The program increased production potential from the field to approx. 155mmscfd via both gas processing plants.

Recognizing the significant increase in demand, Orca has continued to plan for further value realization, with a 3D seismic program planned for 2023, which will help map out what the next development phase of the Songo Songo gas field will look like.


Orca Energy Group operates one license in Tanzania which comprises two blocks known as the Discovery Blocks.

Scroll through the timeline

  • 2022


    Signed contract for the acquisition of c.180km2 full fold 3D seismic acquisition over Songo Songo field.

  • 2022


    Signed contract for coiled tubing operation to unload liquids from SS-4.

  • 2022


    Commenced evaluation of low low pressure compression to address further field pressure decline.

  • 2022


    Low Pressure Compression commissioned. Restored production capacity to 105mmscfd through the Songas plant.

  • 2022


    Onshore well workovers and a side track completed. Addressed corrosion and increased production potential to c.155mmscfd.

  • 2021


    Received approval to conduct full fold 3D seismic across >200km2 of the Songo Songo gas field, to commence in 2022

  • 2021


    Workover campaign begins with the SS-3; well successfully worked over and returned to production for the first time since 2012

  • 2021


    The Company obtains Songas approval to workover two Songas onshore wells (SS-3 and SS-4) alongside the pre-approved workover of the PAET well SS-10

  • 2021


    The SS-10 well is the third well to be tied into the NNGI and the Songas processing plant, giving far greater flexibility in production management

  • 2020


    Flowline debottlenecking completed to increase production potential by approximately 10mmscfd

  • 2020


    The Company signed a lump sum turnkey for design, supply, installation and commissioning of feed gas compression on the Songas gas processing facility

  • 2020


    The Company makes a charitable donation to local child cancer charity to enable stockpiling of medical supplies through the COVID-19 pandemic

  • 2020


    The Company imposes strict protective measures to preserve operational capability through the COVID-19 pandemic

  • 2019

    TPDC long-term gas sales agreement signed

    The Company signs long-term gas sales agreement with TPDC setting the conditions to significantly increase gas production and sales

  • 2019

    Completion of refrigeration installation

    The Company completes installation of refrigeration on Songas processing plant to restore and sustain deliverability

  • 2019

    Investment approval obtained

    The Company obtains investment approval and enters into negotiations for the installation of compression to sustain production through the Songas facilities

  • 2018

    NNGI well tie-in

    The Company ties-in well SS-11 and well SS-12 to the NNGI

  • 2018

    SS-12 NNGI gas production

    The Company produces first gas from SS-12 to the NNGI to meet increased demand for power production

  • 2018

    Management of downstream network

    The Company assumes full technical responsibility for management of the downstream network, supplying gas to over 40 industrial customers

  • 2018

    Kilwa District School support concludes

    Conclusion of high impact English language training across all schools in Kilwa District, training more than 220 local teachers and over 15,000 students

  • 2017

    Additional Gas Plan signed

    The Company signs Additional Gas Plan 2 with Songas and the Government of Tanzania

  • 2017

    Permanent Sovereignty Act 2017 introduced

    Tanzania introduces Permanent Sovereignty Act 2017

  • 2017

    First NNGI processing commences

    TPDC commence limited processing of gas at 140mmscfd from the NNGI gas processing plant on Songo Songo Island

  • 2016

    SS-12 offshore well completed

    The Company drills and completes offshore well SS-12

  • 2015

    Petroleum Act, 2015 introduced

    Tanzania introduces the Petroleum Act, 2015

  • 2015

    TDPC commences NNGI project

    TPDC commences $1.2 billion National Natural Gas Infrastructure (“NNGI”) project to process and transport gas from the south of Tanzania and Songo Songo Island to Dar es Salaam

  • 2015

    Well restoration completed

    The Company completes the workover of three offshore wells (SS-5, SS-7 and SS-9) to restore field deliverability

  • 2015

    Madimba processing plant opened

    President Kikwete inaugurates the 210mmscfd Madimba processing plant

  • 2014

    TPDC transportation agreement signed

    Transportation agreement signed with TPDC to deliver gas to five industries at Mikocheni

  • 2013

    Kilwa District Schools supported

    The Company provides English language training for secondary school students in Kilwa District

  • 2012

    SS-11 well drilling completed

    The Company drills and completes SS-11 to increase gas production

  • 2011

    Coastal pipeline & infrastructure expansion plan announced

    Tanzania announces plans for $1.3 billion 532 km coastal pipeline and infrastructure expansion

  • 2010

    Funding of research study

    The Company funds study to increase production to a minimum of 140mmscfd

  • 2010

    Scholarships introduced

    The Company introduces scholarships and provides increased aid to schools on Songo Songo Island

  • 2009

    Production increase

    Debottlenecking of the Songo Songo gas plant allows production to increase to 110mmscfd

  • 2009

    Wazo Hill Cement Plant supply

    The Company constructs new pressure reduction station to serve Wazo Hill Cement Plant

  • 2009

    Dar es Salaam CNG facilities

    Construction completed of the Compressed Natural Gas (“CNG”) facilities in Dar es Salaam

  • 2007

    Downstream expansion

    Downstream expansion program increases supply of natural gas to more industries

  • 2007

    New well drilling

    The Company drills SS-10, the first Songo Songo well in 25 years

  • 2006

    Increased demand due to drought

    Drought increases demand for gas-fired generation at Dar es Salaam

  • 2006

    TANESCO contract

    Long-term gas sales contract negotiated with TANESCO for power generation

  • 2005

    Marine seismic program

    Marine seismic program identifies Songo Songo West drilling prospects

  • 2004

    First gas produced

    First gas produced from the Songas gas processing plant on Songo Songo Island

  • 2004

    Dar es Salaam downstream construction and commissioning

    Construction and commissioning of the downstream distribution network in Dar es Salaam to serve industrial customers

  • 2003

    Tanzanian workforce recruited

    Tanzanian workforce recruited and trained to operate the Songo Songo gas plant

  • 2001

    Financial closure achieved

    Songo Songo gas to electricity project achieves financial closure

  • 1999

    Government approval

    Government of Tanzania approves the Songo Songo gas to electricity project

  • 1997

    Completion testing program

    Completion of a five-well testing program

  • 1991

    Licence aquisition

    PAET acquires Songo Songo licence

  • 1974

    Songo Songo gas field discovery

    The Songo Songo gas field was discovered by AGIP