Orca Exploration Group and its predecessor and associated companies have been involved in oil and gas projects in Africa for almost 3 decades.
In Tanzania, work to develop the Songo Songo field began in 1991 when an agreement was signed by Ocelot International Inc. with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). Songo Songo had been discovered in 1974 but remained undeveloped due to a lack of infrastructure to transport the gas as well as the need to develop the market. By 1991, demand for electricity in Tanzania was increasing and TPDC wanted to evaluate the economic viability of the field if it was developed primarily to provide fuel to generate electricity.
Ocelot conducted an extensive study of the geology, geophysics and productivity of the 5 wells that had already been drilled in the Songo Songo field. These studies confirmed that there was sufficient volumes of natural gas to supply fuel to a power generation project and a formal development plan was submitted in May 2001.
To bring Songo Songo into production and to build markets for natural gas sales in Tanzania, new industrial partners were attracted to the project. This facilitated the financing of the project by a consortium of multi-lateral lending agencies led by the World Bank. As part of this Ocelot sold its power generation interests in the project to The AES Corporation, while retaining the rights to market additional reserves associated with the uncommitted gas in the Songo Songo field. Initially, the development of the field was focused primarily on meeting the needs of a single gas-to-electricity power plant (Ubungo) at Dar es Salaam. Gas production commenced in June 2004.
In August 2004, the Songo Songo assets were spun out as a separate company (EastCoast Energy Corporation). In November 2006 EastCoast Energy shareholders approved a name change to Orca Exploration Group Inc. and trading of the company shares on the TSXV as Orca Exploration commenced on 4 April 2007.