KIGALI - Dal Brynelsen, President and CEO of Vanoil Energy Ltd – the Canada-based oil explorer, will arrive in the country this weekend with a team to kick start a crucial phase of the oil exploration survey on Lake Kivu that had earlier been postponed due to bad weather.
Joseph Katarebe, Van Oil’s Country Manager, said Thursday that the geologists and the CEO of Vanoil will arrive in Kigali, on Saturday.
“They will then travel to Gisenyi since they now plan to conduct a low impact seismic and magnetic survey on Lake Kivu,” he revealed.
Vanoil which has been exploring for oil, since 2007, in its 1,631 sq km oil and gas concession in the northwestern part of Rwanda better known as the East Kivu Graben, has announced that the necessary equipment had been mobilised.
A team headed by Christopher A. Scholz, Professor of Earth Sciences from Syracuse University, in New York, will conduct a 300 km High Resolution Low Impact seismic and magnetic survey on Lake Kivu.
Katarebe added, Brynelsen is scheduled to meet officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure on Monday in Kigali.
Vanoil says this new survey meant “to commence Mid-November” is the fourth part of an Environment Impact Assessment (“EIA”) survey undertaken by Vanoil earlier this year.
“The results of the first part of the EIA supported the view that the well known methane gas of Lake Kivu has a mixed biogenic and thermogenic origin following the laboratory work conducted by GH Geuchem Laboratory UK,” reads part of the latest Vanoil statement.
The third EIA was “the determination of an optimal seismic source from a safety perspective.”
“Preliminary results indicate that seismic sources for both the high resolution survey in November and the planned 2011-2012 seismic survey, induces very small vibrations that are unlikely to trigger a limnic eruption of the lake, which has been subjected to bigger vibrations from earthquakes, tremors, and storms without release of dissolved lake gases.”
Field tests will be conducted in future to confirm laboratory findings.
The Kivu Graben is part of the great East African Rift system, straddling both Rwanda and the DRC and may be linked to Uganda’s Albertine Graben where major oil discoveries have been made by other explorers – Tullow Oil and Heritage Oil.