The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced on Wednesday evening the names of the companies it has selected, following a call for tenders, to operate three gas blocks of 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), said the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Didier Budimbu, in a statement issued by his services.
Sections of a renowned peat rainforest in the Congo Basin, which plays a crucial role in Africa’s climate system, are being auctioned for oil and gas in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC government will auction off 30 oil and gas blocks in the Central Basin bogs, in the Congo Basin forest – the world’s largest tropical bog. Peatlands are known as “carbon sinks” because they contain immense carbon reserves that are released into the atmosphere when the ecosystem is disturbed.
A call for tenders for these three blocks of methane gas was launched at the end of July, at the same time as for 27 oil blocks. A dozen companies had expressed interest in the gas blocks of the Lake Kivu graben, located on the border between the DRC and Rwanda. Applications for the oil blocks must continue until the end of January.
On October 12, during the screening of the applications for the gas blocks, Didier Budimbu assured that the entire process would be “public, transparent, impartial and competitive”. “Opportunities are given to all companies and no act of corruption will be tolerated,” he said.
With respect to oil development, the government is ensuring that the environment is respected. But his projects are strongly criticized, notably by Greenpeace, which warns against the catastrophic consequences they could have on biodiversity and the climate because they affect especially a forest complex rich in bogs.