Rwanda, China Halt Oil Exploration Talks

Rwanda, China Halt Oil Exploration Talks

Oil exploration in Rwanda has stalled after negotiations with Chinese firm BGP suddenly collapsed, The East African reported.

Oil exploration was expected to resume in November 2016 when BGP, which also conducts explorations in Kenya and Tanzania, won a tender in May for exploration in Lake Kivu. However, sources confirmed that oil exploration may have to wait a bit longer after negotiations between government and BGP hit a dead end, even when a draft contract had been adopted by both parties, Sweet Crude Reports informed.

In mid July, a negotiation team led the former deputy general of the Geology and Mines Department met with BGP Kenya’s Manager, Feng Wenhui, and discussed the terms of the contract that would be signed between both parties. During these talks, which lasted three days, BGP requested, among other things, the government to seek access to explore for oil across the DRC portion of Lake Kivu in order to get better data. This request was granted later in August when both Rwanda and the DRC agreed to explore a portion of the lake within each other’s territory.

Under the contractual terms, BGP also agreed to fully fund training for up to six Rwanda staff in petroleum engineering.

According to Rwanda’s  Minister of Natural Resources, Vincent Biruta, it is not possible to comment on companies that bid to explore oil. Before speaking about it, the procurement process must be concluded and a contract must be signed. However, documents show that the procurement process was concluded and the tender to explore oil was awarded to BGP mid 2016.


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