Oil exploration results due in June
The final interpretation results of a two-dimensional (2D) marine seismic oil survey carried out in the East Lake Kivu Graben will be released in June, according to a statement from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
The Petroleum Exploration Programme was transferred from the Ministry of Infrastructure to the Ministry of Natural Resources in 2010.
The exploration is being carried out in the western part of the country by Vanoil Energy Ltd, a Canadian oil exploration firm.
It commenced in 2010 with an environmental impact assessment in connection with a 2D marine seismic survey.
The government through the Ministry of Infrastructure and Vanoil, entered into an agreement to embark on an airborne magnetic and gravity survey that was conducted in 2008 as the initial step towards defining areas to explore for probable oil deposits.
The statement says the first phase of the 2D seismic shooting was an exploration survey using a low energy source. If results are positive, there will be a need to go for more 2D seismic shooting to penetrate deeper into the basin.
“3D seismic will be required in case there are complex features identified through 2D survey which may need to be mapped or correlated.”
Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, Stanislas Kamanzi, the Minister of Natural Resources, said that Vanoil, in collaboration with Syracuse University, have already acquired 643 km of 2D seismic data.
“I can’t confirm now that there is oil in Kivu graben but the data we have indicates that there might be a possibility of oil. But this does not automatically confirm that we have oil in Kivu before we get the final results,” he stated.
Lake Kivu graben is the South –Western extension of Uganda’s Albertine graben where substantial amounts of oil have been discovered.
Since 2008, more has been done to determine whether there may be petroleum deposits in Lake Kivu. The preliminary magnetic and gravity exploration results indicated a sedimentary basin of 2-3 km thickness in the northern and central part of Lake Kivu, which is usually a good indication in a location of petroleum occurrence potential.
“An oil slicks Synthetic Aperture Radar study on Lake Kivu was completed and indicated possible occurrence of long chain hydrocarbons in the slicks,” reads the statement.
If oil is discovered in Kivu Graben, Rwanda will be the third country in the East African Community to discover oil reservoirs after Uganda and Kenya.
Contact email: frank.kanyesigye[at]newtimes.co.rw