Vanoil Commences 2D Seismic Program in Rwanda Basin

Vanoil Energy announced that it has come to an understanding with the Ministry of Infrastructure, of Rwanda to enter into a definitive production sharing contract within six months. The understanding dictates that Vanoil continue with its ongoing exploration program in Rwanda.

Vanoil's 2010 exploration program has commenced with an environmental impact assessment for the planned 2D marine seismic program within the East Kivu Graben. This area located over Lake Kivu surrounds what is believed to be the south-western extension of Uganda's Albertine Graben which contains the four lakes (Lake Albert, Lake George, Lake Edward and Lake Kivu). They are separated by accommodations zones Ruwenzori and Virunga mountains.

The Environmental Impact Assessment has four components, namely:

  • Carbon isotopic tests to determine the source of the huge 55 km3 methane in Lake Kivu at GHgeochem Laboratory UK. The methane continues to increase at a rate of 15% in thirty years. The tests will determine whether the gas could be from leaking hydrocarbons traps in the sedimentary basin.
  • Laboratory excitation of Lake Kivu waters by sonic waves to form bubbles to establish suitable safe seismic sources for the marine survey at Allied Geophysical Labs in Houston.
  • Analysis of Lake Kivu waters for dissolved hydrocarbons and mineral salts at the Petroleum and Geochem lab in Houston, and finally;
  • A high resolution low impact 300 km seismic and magnetic survey to evaluate geo hazards in the lake with University of Syracuse.

Based on interpretation of gravity and magnetic data (2008 PGW and Vanoil survey), the basinal area in East Kivu is approximately 600 km2 with local accumulation of sediments exceeding 3,000m in the central depo-centre. The East Kivu Graben is the southernmost extension of the Albertine Graben along the western arm of East African rift System. The initial sediments in East Kivu Graben could be of Miocene or younger age. The lake used to discharge through the north to the Nile when volcanic eruptions formed the Virunga Mountains and therefore it changed course to discharge in Lake Tanganyika.

The northernmost part of the Albertine Graben in Uganda is the Lake Albert area which has an indicated oil reservoir of approximately one billion barrels. This major oil discovery was found by Heritage Oil and Tullow Oil. The common origin (shared tectonic and sedimentary history) of Lake Kivu with Lake Edward, Lake George and Lake Albert presupposes a similar sedimentary in-fill and therefore makes Lake Kivu an ideal basin to explore. Its prospectivity is further enhanced by presence of long chain hydrocarbons in the lake bottom sediments indicative of the existence of an active petroleum system