DR Congo side of Lake Albert ‘may hold two billion barrels of oil’

lake albert-sarahemcc flickrLake Albert may hold two billion barrels of oil. (Image source: Sarahemcc/Flickr)Oil of DR Congo has announced that Lake Albert may be holding two billion barrels of oil reserves, adding that any confirmed discovery would require major investments for further development

The potential for big finds along Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern border has grown since UK-based Tullow Oil struck oil on the Ugandan side of Lake Albert in 2006.

France’s Total and Chinese national oil company CNOOC also operate there and Uganda’s government has estimated reserves at 3.5bn barrels.

Lake Albert, 160km long and 32km wide, is Africa’s seventh-largest lake. It forms part of the border between Uganda and the Congo.

Giovanni Pedaci, general manager of Oil of DR Congo, said, "The company has completed a second phase of seismic data acquisition on Lake Albert blocks last month. We need to drill down to be sure, but we have measured the volume of structures under the lake and it is very high — two billion barrels."

Oil of DR Congo operates on Democratic Republic of Congo’s Blocks 1 and 2 on behalf of Foxwhelp and Caprikat, two companies incorporated in the British Virgin Islands which were granted five-year concessions on the blocks in 2010.

Pedaci added that those structures may be full of water or oil.

"We will drill next year to find out. But they are mirror images of structures on the Ugandan side of the lake, which have oil."

Pedaci said that any oil discovered by the company on Congo’s side of Lake Albert would be exported east via a pipeline through Uganda and Kenya to the Indian Ocean.

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