The New Times (Kigali)

28 January 2013

Rwanda to Exhibit Oil Potential in Arusha

Rwanda will join four other regional countries to exhibit her oil and gas potential during the 6th East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition in Arusha, Tanzania, an official in the EAC ministry has said.

The exhibition, themed East Africa Region-The Emerging Destination for Investment and Future Supply of Oil and Gas for Sustainable Development, runs from February 6 to 8 at the Arusha International Conference Centre.

Jean de Dieu Ndacyayisenga, an infrastructure expert in the Ministry of East African Community noted that three officials will represent the country in what he said would be a great opportunity to expose the country's oil potential.

He further observed that the conference will provide chances to the investors to understand the market.

Over 1,200 delegates have already registered for the conference, according to EAC Director for Productive Sectors, Dr. Caleb Nyamajeje Weggoro.

Exploration, extracting

Weggoro said there will be technical papers presentations at the conference as well as exhibitions featuring, among others, developments in the regions' petroleum exploration, production, local content, revenue management, environment and research by renowned petroleum industry experts and researchers.

Rwanda is in at the stage of exploration while other regional countries like Uganda and Kenya are in the process of extracting oil. In 2006, the first oil discovery was made in the Albertine Graben region on the Uganda-DRC border.

Recently, Rwanda's Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi said, "We discovered a sedimentary basin under Lake Kivu with thickness of up to 3.5 kilometres and are still analysing data from the 2D seismic technology to determine whether the structure of the basin is capable of holding oil."

Oil exploration began when the government entered into an agreement with Canadian firm, Vanoil Energy, to begin works in Lake Kivu, along the Rwanda-DRC border, which also falls in the Albertine Graben.

Rwanda is yet to start extracting gas from Lake Kivu. This paints a positive outlook on the methane gas extraction project that is seen to set up the country's target of 1,000MW of electricity by 2017 to meet the demand.

Tanzania's President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is expected to grace the official opening of the exhibition while President Ali Mohamed Shein of Zanzibar will close the event.

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