Rwandan firm wins bid to search for oil in Lake Kivu

Wednesday February 8 2017

Gas being extracted from Lake Kivu. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA

Gas being extracted from Lake Kivu. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA 

By Ivan R. Mugisha

A Rwandan firm, Ngali Mining, has won petroleum exploration rights in Lake Kivu.

Sources at Ngali Mining, a subsidiary of local investment company Ngali Holdings, confirmed the development but did not offer details of the agreement.

The country hopes to kick-start hydrocarbons search in Lake Kivu following discovery in 2014 that the Eastern Kivu Basin is favourable for oil and gas exploration.

Oil survey in Rwanda had stalled after agreements were terminated and fresh negotiations between the government and foreign firms collapsed.

The country was expected to resume oil search in November last year when BGP — a Chinese company — won a tender, in May, for the petroleum exploration rights.

However, sources told The EastAfrican that BGP is now “completely out of the picture” after negotiations between government and the Chinese firm hit a dead end, even when a draft contract had been adopted by both parties.

Oil exploration is now expected to resume two years after it was put on hold following the termination of a contract with Vanoil – a Canadian company that had spent $3 million on petroleum exploration in Lake Kivu.

It is unclear when actual exploration works will start, but The EastAfrican has learnt that Ngali Mining and the government are currently negotiating the terms.