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Rwanda Exploration Activities

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Petroleum Exploration
Petroleum Exploration in Rwanda is in its fetal phase. Exploration activities started in 2007. The potential area for exploration is located in the western part of the country specifically under Lake Kivu. The whole exploration area covers about 1,600 km2.

Up to date, the following activities have been covered: Satellite images analysis, aero magnetic and gravity survey, geochemical analysis and genetic characterization of gases in Lake Kivu, EIA for 2D seismic survey, and reconnaissance 2D Seismic Survey.
The Government of Rwanda has been working hard on legal and regulatory tools. The law governing Petroleum Exploration and Production Activities is now gazetted. The Upstream Petroleum Policy is being revised.

By now, the government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA) has started the process of hiring a petroleum Company to execute technical activities concerned with conducting 2D Seismic Survey in Lac Kivu. The process is at the level of Contact negotiation, within one week the contract will be signed and activities are supposed to start by first week of September/2016. 

Way forward
The Government of Rwanda is currently hiring a service company to conduct a detailed 2D seismic survey over Lake Kivu block. The survey is projected to start in September 2016. The Geology and Mines Department charged with implementation and supervision of petroleum exploration projects is planning to carry some ground gravity and magnetic survey on the Bugarama basin (South West) to raise the knowledge on its potential for petroleum exploration.

Methane gas to power
As part of the Western Branch of the African rift valley, Lake Kivu was formed in the course of the Volcano chain. This lake contains an enormous quantity of dissolved gas: an estimated 250 billion m3 of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 55 billion m3 of Methane gas (CH4).

The Government of Rwanda was further engaged in the development of a modern gas production facility to convert that gas into electrical power. In that framework, a 2MW power plant was successfully put in place as a pilot project and the latter has attracted many other developers not only for power generation but also for fertilizers and liquid fuel.

Currently, an American company known as CONTOUR GLOBAL through its local subsidiary company namely KivuWatt Ltd has developed a methane gas to power project which is supplying to the national grid 25MW of electricity. This project is being extended for an additional of 75MW in order to have 100 MW of electricity as the design goal of the KivuWatt Project.

Another developer, Symbion Power, has been awarded a 50 megawatt Independent Power Production (IPP) project using methane gas from Lake Kivu. The first barge of Symbion Power Project will provide 14 MW of electricity 15 months after the project reaches financial close. The full 50 MW will be commissioned within 36 months after the agreement completion.