In a bid to enhance the role of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s oil and gas in ensuring global energy security, the country’s Ministry of Hydrocarbons is almost doubling the number of blocks on offer for exploration to 30.
A licensing round set to be launched on 28 July will comprise 27 oil and three gas blocks on offer for exploration, according to H.E. Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the DRC.
Among the oil blocks to be offered, three are in the coastal basin of Kongo Central province while nine are located in Cuvette Centrale, 11 close to Lake Tanganyika and four near Lake Albert. The three blocks available for gas exploration are in Lake Kivu.
In early May, the Minister announced a plan to offer 16 blocks for oil exploration only, which were estimated to hold approximately 16 billion barrels in reserve with the potential to inject over $650 billion in revenue for the DRC’s government.
However, calls by western governments for hydrocarbon-producing countries to increase oil and gas output has prompted the DRC to take advantage of the increase in energy demand to maximize the development of its energy sector while accelerating monetization for GDP growth. With the increased blocks, the DRC could gain as much as $1 trillion in oil revenue.
The licensing round is expected to drive in massive investments which the DRC is in need of to boost production, which has remained low at 25,000 barrels per day over the past years due to limited investments across the oil and gas value chain.