SOCO International starts seismic tests offshore DR Congo

oil africa-rsvstks sxc.huSOCO International has begun seismic tests at Lake Edward in DR Congo's Block 5 using environmentally-sensitive techniques

Earlier, conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) had called on the UK oil company to withdraw from its blocks in UNESCO-protected Virunga national park, stating that oil exploration would damage the most bio-diverse park in Africa.

Block 5 covers an area of 7,500 sq km on the border with Uganda. SOCO International was awarded the block licence in June 2006 by the government of the DR Congo and it was ratified in 2010 by a presidential decree.

However, an unnamed executive at SOCO International, said, “The start date for seismic testing has been planned and will take about a month.”

The executive added that SOCO International would employ the same seismic surveying company and techniques as UK-listed Tullow Oil on the Ugandan side of Lake Albert, situated around 171km north of Lake Edward.

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