Republic of Rwanda

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Rwanda, often referred to as the "Land of a Thousand Hills," is located in East Africa, positioned at the western segment of the significant East African rift called the Albertine Rift. Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforest, sweeping plains, and numerous lakes throughout the country.
The energy sector plays a vital role in accelerating the growing economy. The Government of Rwanda envisions having a secure and sustainable energy supply, to be achieved in part by increasing quantities from traditional sources and diversifying into new sources, including exploitation of Rwanda’s petroleum production potential.
Methane gas dissolved in Lake Kivu is a major source of energy in the country and contributes to 76 MW of electricity generation with the potential of an additional 100 MW production capacity.
Rwanda’s economy has been booming for the last few years. Technology, modern infrastructure, and quality of services are the backbone of this high-paced development. Mining follows Tourism in being one of the key sectors that contribute to the national revenues of Rwanda while energy Innovation closely follows behind.


Rwanda Location Map
Rwanda Location Map


Hydrocarbon Exploration in Rwanda

The exploration of hydrocarbons in Rwanda started in 1971. Initial exploration studies included geochemical and the overall analysis revealed the presence of a geologically interesting basing worth exploring more.

The main exploration efforts that followed comprised 2D seismic data acquisition surveys in 2012 at Lake Kivu basin, gravity, and magnetic studies, and an oil- prospecting geochemical survey in 2017-2018. The results from geophysical studies showed that the Lake Kivu basin is half-graben and consists of a large main basin and four smaller,” separate basins“. The depth of the basins sediments is in the range between 3 km to 4.5 km.

More recently, in 2021-2022, Sound Oceanic led high-resolution 2D seismic surveys to image the Lake Kivu subsurface, pinpointing rock and sediment layers, fault lines, and potential hydrocarbon traps. The interpretation of results yielded a structural geologic model aligned with existing geological knowledge, identifying key horizons and structural leads indicating potential exploratory drilling locations, including those associated with the deepest mappable horizon, Kibuye Formation horizon, and the Idjwi depositional sequence. The study also revealed that the dominant environment is lacustrine and is characterized by the I type of kerogen, while secondary sediments of the fluvial-deltaic system could contain a significant contribution of type III kerogen. The deepest part of the basin is most likely to have anoxic conditions favorable for the preservation of organic material and such sequences might develop reasonable thickness during periods of reduced clastic input.
The favorable position of Rwanda’s potential basins in the East African Rift Valley, the petroleum discoveries in the region (including significant discoveries of oil and natural gas in nearby countries), the relatively favorable Lake Kivu Basin sediment thickness and structure obtained from aero gravity and seismic studies, respectively, and the data gathered from the other exploration activities are attracting investors to the country, interested in securing exploration blocks
Methane extraction platform at Lake Kivu
Methane extraction platform at Lake Kivu

Methane gas extraction in Rwanda

Lake Kivu is located on the border between the Republic of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and covers an area of 2400 km2. The lake is estimated to hold 60 km3 (2.1 TCF) of methane gas shared between the two countries.
The reserve of natural gas was found to be commercially valuable for generating electricity or converting the produced gas into other industrial uses. Consequently, in 2015, the country successfully launched the first commercial project of extracting methane to generate 26 MW of electricity, and industrial projects are being developed for local and regional use.
Being the 2nd fastest growing economy, 2nd for doing business in Africa, Rwanda has successfully been able to attract investors willing to strive in a safe environment. In addition, a new petroleum policy and update on petroleum in development will allow a competitive ground for international petroleum companies to invest in the sector.

Shema Power Plant on Lake Kivu

Investment Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Sector

Rwanda, with its rapid economic growth and reputation as one of Africa's most business-friendly environments, has effectively attracted investors who seek a secure setting to thrive.

There exist numerous oil and gas investment opportunities in exploration, exploitation, infrastructure development, and capacity building:

  • Oil and Gas Exploration investment opportunities include:
  • Further exploration programs for Lake
  • Kivu Basin
  • Exploratory drilling
  • 3D seismic surveys.

Methane gas exploitation and commercialization opportunities include:

  • Big market for CNG
  • Potential collaboration with current producers
  • infrastructure development for midstream and downstream, including petroleum refined products, storage facilities, pipelines, CNG distribution centers, etc.

Vast amounts of Carbon Dioxide offer opportunities for:

  • Syngas Production
  • Microalgae production
  • Oil and gas field stimulation
  • Beverage carbonation
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