Tanzania, Congo to hold joint search for oil and gas in Lake Tanganyika

Tuesday October 04 2016

Congolese President Joseph Kabila (left) with Tanzania's President John Magufuli in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO | THE CITIZEN

Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to pave the way for joint oil and gas exploration in Lake Tanganyika.

The MoU was signed by the Congolese Petroleum and Gas minister Ngoyi Mukena and Tanzania’s Energy and Minerals minister Prof Sospeter Muhongo at State House in Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli and his DR Congo counterpart Joseph Kabila witnessed the signing.

“We have already discovered oil in the western parts of Lake Albert, and there’s a great possibility that there’s also oil in Lake Tanganyika, therefore, joint exploration is the way to go for mutual benefits,” said President Kabila.

The discovery of oil in Lake Albert, which is located in the Great Rift Valley as Lake Tanganyika, and Beach Petroleum’s announcement in 2012 that initial seismic surveys had indicated the potential of 200 million barrels of oil, raised hopes that massive oil deposits could be discovered in the area.

President Magufuli said through such pacts African countries can tap and make use of their economic potentials.

President Kabila is in Tanzania for a three-day state visit. He held private talks with his host on Tuesday morning on trade, infrastructure development, defence and energy.