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Tanzania and Malawi in border oil dispute

10 August 2012

Tanzania has asked Malawi to halt oil and gas exploration in Lake Malawi until a border dispute between the two countries is resolved, according to Reuters.

Malawi last year awarded a licence to the UK’s Surestream Petroleum to drill for oil in the lake, which is known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania, under the premise it fell within its boundaries. This claim has been disputed by Tanzania which claims half the lake falls within its borders.

Surestream has licences for blocks 2 and 3, spanning some 20,000 square kilometres.

The Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister has told his Malawi counterpart that ongoing oil exploration at the lake could jeopardise talks between the countries over the dispute. The two ministers met in Dar es Salaam in early August to discuss the territorial dispute.

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