The Makelele Block was awarded to RED (part of the US Symbion Power group), the Lwandjofu Block to Alfajiri Energy Corporation (Canada), and the Idjwi Block to Winds Exploration and Production (US).
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) published on Wednesday evening the names of the companies it selected, following a call for tenders, to operate three gas blocks in Lake Kivu, in the east of the country.
These are Symbion Power & Red, for the so-called “Makelele” block, Winds Exploration and Production LLC (Idjwi block) and Alfajiri Energy Corporation (Lwandjofu block), specifies the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Didier Budimbu, in a press release broadcast by its services.
On October 12, during the counting of applications for the gas blocks, Didier Budimbu assured that the whole process would be “public, transparent, impartial and competitive”. “Opportunities are given to all companies and no act of corruption will be tolerated,” he said.
In a bid to enhance the role of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s oil and gas in ensuring global energy security, the country’s Ministry of Hydrocarbons is almost doubling the number of blocks on offer for exploration to 30.
The first two companies are headquartered in the United States, the third is in Canada.
“This is a first major step for the DRC and my ministry,” commented Mr. Budimbu on Twitter. “I would like to congratulate the companies for their common determination to provide expertise and sustainable solutions for the region and its population,” he added.
A licensing round set to be launched on 28 July will comprise 27 oil and three gas blocks on offer for exploration, according to H.E. Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the DRC. It is is expected to drive in massive investments which the DRC is in need of to boost production, which has remained low at 25,000 barrels per day over the past years due to limited investments across the oil and gas value chain.
Among the oil blocks to be offered, three are in the coastal basin of Kongo Central province while nine are located in Cuvette Centrale, 11 close to Lake Tanganyika and four near Lake Albert. The three blocks available for gas exploration are in Lake Kivu.
A dozen companies had expressed interest in the gas blocks of the Lake Kivu graben, located on the border between the DRC and Rwanda. The filing of applications for the oil blocks should continue until the end of January.
In early May, the Minister announced a plan to offer 16 blocks for oil exploration only, which were estimated to hold approximately 16 billion barrels in reserve with the potential to inject over $650 billion in revenue for the DRC’s government.
However, calls by western governments for hydrocarbon-producing countries to increase oil and gas output has prompted the DRC to take advantage of the increase in energy demand to maximize the development of its energy sector while accelerating monetization for GDP growth. With the increased blocks, the DRC could gain as much as $ 1 trillion in oil revenue.