Firm predicts petroleum discovery
Government and Vangold Resources Ltd – the Canadian Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation exploring for oil in the country, recently agreed to extend by another 90 days the still not concluded oil survey.
In a May 8 communiqué, Vangold states that it signed on April 30 an “addendum” to the Technical Evaluation Agreement (TEA) for assessing oil potential in the Western Province’s “Kivu Graben” – parts of Nyungwe and Gishwati forests, as well as Lake Kivu.
“Vangold will, within 90 days of the amendment, complete the remainder of the Airborne Gravity and Aeromagnetic study by flying approximately 900 km of survey subject to regulatory approval and the permitting by the Rwandan Government and the DRC, and availability of an airborne geophysical team,” says part of the Vangold statement.
When contacted, Charles Nyirahuku, the head of the Gas Unit in the Ministry of Infrastructure highlighted the need to notify DRC of the flying activities on the Rwandan side of the common border in order to “avoid potential misunderstandings” if a plane erroneously crossed onto DRC.
“Flying is done on the Rwandan side but you know when a plane is airborne, sometimes it is difficult to know where the border ends,” he said, explaining current preparations to re-start work with Vangold.
“They had not been able to finish last time because of some permission delays from the Congo side. It is a process we have started – we are talking to the Congolese to allow them (Vangold) to complete and we are confident that they will be permitted, given the current good relations.”
Nyirahuku noted that the work that remains can be done in “about two weeks.”
The Vangold communiqué also notes that upon completion of the exploration programme and “prior to seismic exploration,” its President and CEO – Dal Brynelsen, and the State Minister for Energy, Dr. Albert Butare, will negotiate “in good faith” the terms of a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).
• Signs of hope
Rwanda’s oil potential cannot be predicted at this stage but there is hope. In the Vangold communiqué, Brynelsen is quoted stating: “We have been very pleased with the Geochemical and Geophysical results that Vangold has developed at Lake Kivu in Rwanda.”
The Kivu Graben is located south of Uganda’s Albertine Graben on Lake Albert, where Tullow Oil plc and Heritage Oil, two other oil explorers have hit it big on oil and gas. Both the Kivu and Albertine grabens occupy the northern part of the western branch of the East African rift system (EARS).
“We have identified a basin under Lake Kivu of about approximately 400 square kilometers based on the partially completed gravity and magnetic survey flown in the fall of 2008 by Vangold,” adds the communiqué which notes that Kivu is on a hydrocarbon fairway.
“While the Kivu basins may not be as large as other basins in East Africa, this in no way minimizes the oil potential of this Basin. Many similarities occur when comparing our Lake Kivu findings with the discoveries in Uganda.”
The Canadian corporation is confident that after the activities of the current 90-day plan, they will: “demonstrate a potential for a petroleum discovery similar to the new oil fields in Uganda.”
Vangold started the long process of oil exploration in the country back in October 2007.