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Rwanda discovers new oil and gas field in Kivu Lake

Rwanda announced Wednesday that it has discovered a field in the Kivu Lake on the border with the Democratic Republic…

Rwanda announced Wednesday that it has discovered a field in the Kivu Lake on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with estimated reserves of crude oil and natural gas totaling million tonnes of oil equivalent.Works to explore the prospects of oil in Lake Kivu could resume soon after the project’s Rwf1.038 billion budget received the nod from lawmakers.

According to Omar Munyaneza, the Chairperson of the Committee on National Budget and Patrimony in the Chamber of Deputies, the project will be implemented by the Government’s Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB).

Rwandans could start using locally produced cooking gas from Lake Kivu by the end of 2022 thanks to a project that seeks to process methane into compressed natural gas (CNG).

In February 2019, Rwanda inked a $400 million deal with Gasmeth Energy to extract and process methane into CNG for cooking, industrial use and vehicles.

Shema Power Lake Kivu (SPLK) is set to produce 15 megawatts of electricity by June this year, in its first phase of methane gas extraction from Lake Kivu.

The project, which started in October 2019, is set to be finalised by December 2022.

Lake Kivu, which straddles the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, covers an area of about 2,700 square kilometres (1,040 square miles), divided roughly equally between the two countries.

According to a 2010 Rwandan government study, the lake contains some 55 billion cubic metres of methane gas, trapped at the bottom of the lake by the pressure of the water above.

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