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Orca Exploration creates infrastructure division to expand natural gas pipeline in EastĀ Africa

Jul 15, 2010  (Source: Scandanavian Oil and Gas Magazine)

Orca Exploration Group Inc has reported the creation of EastCoast Transmission and Marketing as the new infrastructure division of the Company. Orca is currently in discussion with potential pipeline expansion partners and is keen to have a significant East Africa finance component as part of the infrastructure project.

EastCoast Transmission will initially focus on expanding the onshore natural gas pipeline system transporting Songo Songo gas to Dar es Salaam. This will require the twinning of the existing 207 kilometer pipeline from Somanga Funga, where the marine pipeline from the Songo Songo gas field connects to the mainland, to the pipeline's current terminus at Dar es Salaam. Orca has undertaken some preliminary engineering studies for this section. Ultimately it is envisioned that the pipeline could be extended along the coast - north to Mombasa and south to Mtwara near the border with Mozambique near the Mnazi Bay gas discovery.

"The time is right to move on this expansion." said David Lyons, Orca Exploration's Chairman and CEO. "The markets for natural gas are opening up in East Africa and there is significant potential demand from the power sector. However infrastructure remains a bottleneck that urgently needs to be addressed. We are looking forward to working with partners to increase throughput and extend the pipeline network to reach new markets. This will benefit not just Orca but also others who can then develop their gas discoveries in Tanzania."

There has been significant interest in recent months by the larger energy companies in drilling offshore Tanzania and Orca has already announced that it intends to drill its Songo Songo West prospect in 2011. With a history of 16 years working in Tanzania, Orca is in a unique position to lead this infrastructure development. The Company is well established and has positive working relationships with the Government of Tanzania, Tanzanian Petroleum Development Corporation (TDPC) and the energy regulator, EWURA.