Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo signed a memorandum of understanding for joint exploration and development of hydrocarbons in Lake Tanganyika, Reuters reported.

Congo’s President, Joseph Kabila, said: “we have also discussed mutual cooperation in the proposed crude oil pipeline project to be constructed from Uganda to Tanzania. Uganda is expected to start producing oil soon and Congo will also in the next few years begin its own oil production,” according to Rigzone. Kabila added that Congo wanted to use the same pipeline to export its future oil production from Lake Albert.

France’s Total, one of the oil firms developing Uganda’s fields, is taking part in the construction of the crude oil pipeline along with Britain’s Tullow Oil and China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC). Furthermore, Tanzanian expected construction of the pipeline to be completed in 2020 at an estimated cost of $3.5b.

Lake Tanganyika, which straddles the border between Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Zambia, is the world’s second largest by volume and second deepest. The discovery came while interest in East Africa as a new hydrocarbon region has been heating up in recent years after further major discoveries of oil in Uganda and natural gas in Tanzania and Mozambique.