Oil, gas exploration set to start in Lake Malawi – Official

Oil and gas exploration activities on Lake Malawi will begin in the next two months, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines has said.

Botolo: Oil exploration to  start within two months

Botolo: Oil exploration to start within two months

Principal Secretary in the Ministry Ben Botolo told Nyasa Times on Sunday after demands from some concerned residents of Karonga that government should release the full sensor gravity gradiometer on oil and gas exploration on Lake Malawi.

Botolo, who blamed former government of People’s Party (PP) on some “irregularities” regarding the deal, said there was no need to panic.

“The previous government messed up the whole process by signing the development and production agreements before the exploration results, a development which was questionable hence the delays,” said Botolo.

He mentioned that government had heard the cries of the people of and that it would disclose the findings on the exploration soon, adding government has never been silent on the matter.

“We will soon meet with the oil companies that were given the licenses so that they begin their processes,” he added.

Meanwhile, Malawi has assured the United Nations (UN) of her commitment to heritage conservation issues.

In a letter to the United Nations Scientific, Education and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) signed by Ministry of Sports and Culture Principal Secretary (PS) Sam Madula, said the issue of oil exploration started under a different government before the new government came in May 2014.

“Owing to complexity of the issue at hand, the new government needs time to assess the issue and the consequences of its decision,” reads the letter.

Environmental activist Godfrey Mfiti asked Malawi to withdraw its interest to explore oil at Lake Malawi National Park, a world heritage site.

“It is unfortunate that oil drilling in Lake Malawi is undermining the possible permanent environmental and public health impacts,” said Mfiti.

 

But another activist, Undule Mwakasungula, urged caution on the matter, saying government “must weigh the benefits from oil and keeping the so called recognised heritage.”

Four companies—Rak Gas, the Surestream-Hamra Oil Holdings venture, Pacific Oil and SacOil—hold the exploration licences.

Rak Gas—owned by the Government of Ras Al Khaimah, one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—holds Blocks Four and Five it won after an international bidding participation. It has since carried out Full Tensor Gravity Gradiometry (FTG).

Hamra—a Cayman Island origin private company—bought 51 percent into Blocks Two and Three from Surestream and entered into a deed of assignment that was duly approved and signed by the ministry. Hamra too has carried out an FTG.

Pacific Oil, which is part of Vega Petroleum Limited—the privately owned oil and gas entity that has oil producing and exploration concessions in Egypt—secured Block Six, also after an international bidding participation while SacOil won Block One.

Both Pacific and SacOil are yet to carry FTGs, but the Vega group member has indicated that it is ready to carry out the exercise once it gets government nod.

Meanwhile, Karonga-based Oil and Gas Forum has blasted CSOs for spreading false reports about the oil exploration project, arguing the former simply want to confuse people and swallow donor money.

The group’s spokesperson Steve Simusokwe said they will not allow CSOs and NGOs to represent them again, saying they had frustrated them on the now closed Kayerekela Uranium Mine.

“We’ve been deceived a lot by them,” he said, “We will not let them advocate on our behalf anymore.”

According to Simusokwe, they have already, on their own, started sensitizing the community about oil and gas exploration on the lake, playing the bridging role between the community, government and mine companies as well as negotiating with the oil companies on social corporate responsibilities.

They believe oil discovery would be of economic benefit to their communities.

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36 thoughts on “Oil, gas exploration set to start in Lake Malawi – Official”

  1. Boy says:

    I do respect comments/ observations/opinions made by all readers. We cannot blame the pple from Karonga, nor blame PP or DPP for what happened after the kayekera or the Mchenga coal mine exploration. Learning is a continuous process and u cant run away from it and sitinati, orrrrroooo!! Didnt ppl say that Kamuzu anathamangitsa azungu nsanga?? Mwanena mau amenewa after how many years of independence? More than 4o years!!! Whilst learning, we will lose on the way but also gain knowledge and experience. The Western world wants to see Africa suffer and they cant be happy to hear Mw is exploring oil. No way? We fought for independence, iwo womwewo amakana kuti atipatse dziko lero, why? Lero atipunzitse zochita. If the new democracy, sitikanalimbana ayi. NOTE; Western World is there to destroy Africa in whatever means they have. Through leadership slaughter, or bringing them down. ICC for example, its for African leaders, not western or eastern. Look at the atrocities committed by the western in Libya, Iraq…..and yet non of them is being condemned or brought before ICC. Let us access our oil, its ours and Karonga pple, move forward and I support u.

  2. Blade says:

    Winston for President!

  3. Winston Msowoya says:

    Africa is the World’s poorest Continent and,arguably,it is the richest.Although accounting for just 2 percent of global GDP,it is the repository of 15 percent of the planet’s crude oil reserves,40 percent of its gold,and 80 percent of its platinum.Beneath its soils lies a third of the mineral deposits found on earth.But this treasure trove has proved to be not a salvation,but a curse:An observation by Tom Burgis the leading Journalist of our time in his most recent prolific book,the LOOTING MACHINE.If the blind supporters of the oil rigging in Lake Nyasa/Lake Malawi read this highly narrative book about Africa’s evil oil,no sooner than later,they will change their minds.The discovery of oil in Africa 40 years ago,has not benefited the overwhelming struggling majority of our people,instead,90 percent of the revenues cross Atlantic into the pockets of oil gurus and the remaining 10 percent end up into the pockets of corrupt leaders and their dupes.This is what Peter Muthalika focuses his eyes,he knows pretty well that millions of our people would never benefit from the loots of evil oil.It would be a tragedy of the centuries if we dare contaminate the golden waters of our super natural Lake. History has with us that no African oil producing countries have built decent economies from oil extraction to support decent lives of their citizens.Here,I will cite an instance on two leading Oil producing states: Nigeria and Angola.In both oil giants,poverty is perilous among the overwhelming majority,as for Angola,those young men and women who fought gallantly against Portuguese colonialism and imperialism are thrown to the vultures,while the leaders and their dupes are swimming in the waters full of milk and honey and this is what is going to happen if Muthalika and his political hoodlums succeed.Malawians,especially from the north,you might have learnt a vivid lesson from the Mchenga coal mine and Kayelekera mine which both of them turned to be obsolete and absolutely beneficial to Pakistans and Western crooks who have permanently destroyed our land for their own Good.Malawians of goodwill,organize to protect our resources for our children,their children and the generations to come.Chief Kyungu and people like Botolo of beer,must feel ashamed for betraying their own country for their own greedy ends.The shell oil company one of the culprits,reaped mountains of bad publicity from the harsh repression of local activists,most notably the Ogoni movement and its leader gallant Ken Salo- Wiwa,who was executed by Sani Abacha’s former notorious military regime in 1995. Malawians,this is the time to show Muthalika and his gang of robbers that we do not want anybody to tamper with our God- given golden lake to benefit a few selfish idiots,we must go to the streets like our South African brothers and sisters who are demanding the resignation of a corrupt and incapable leader Jacob Zuma.You can do that,play your part.ALUTA CONTINUA,THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES,VENCEREMOS.

  4. P Nkhoma says:

    grooming yathawatu bwana.
    madam alola muzioneka chonchi kuti nyivuuuuuuu? heeee? No
    start looking after yourself very well
    spend not less that 30 mins in shower, shave and brush your teeth. use lip balm for softer lips

  5. Kumametsa says:

    Mr Botolo is a civil servant who should not be blaming ‘previous governments’. It’s childishness at best. The minister can say the same same thing but not you ps!

  6. mtumbukaweniweni says:

    moyo wawo wakuba musayiwale ,
    ndiye kuti winayo wanyema.
    asawononge nsomba zathu chifukwa timadya nsomba not nyama zimene amadya iwo.
    tithamangisanapo apo

  7. Ma says:

    This minister is soooo dumb! Yes in oil and gas exploration you sign Production and Sharing Agreement ( PSA) before exploration! So you thought pp goofed by doing that? Who told you that? Am a professional in this area so you don’t go into exploration before signing PSA. Oil production has 3 phases. Exploration, development and production phases and so depending on the outcome the PSA still applies kaya mupeza oil or ayi! Umnuli basi…this is a very risky venture and very expensive so which Co would just start exploration without a PSA? school yake itiyo?

  8. Dan says:

    Lets preserve our Natural heritage LAKE MALAWI

  9. Robin Hood says:

    Are we to believe there were no Malawian companies interested in this venture or is it just usual politics? Cayman Island? Really? What are they hiding? To what extent are the disclosures for these companies? How much of the royalties are going back to the ordinary Malawians? Are there any measures in place to avoid a repeat of kayelekela? How about an act of parliament to establish a national trust fund for the country? Please let’s get things right before we dig a bigger hole for the next generation. There’s too much haste for this project.

  10. safusa says:

    OH come on sir get a shave because you look so unkempt! You look terrible!

  11. Chaipa says:

    What credentials do you have to sensitize people?

  12. mkwita says:

    Who is exploring for oil nowadays?kuchedwa abale anga..go for renewable energy.You have so much of that and that the direction the world is heading to.

  13. gober says:

    A Ben Botolo mwayamba nawo ndale? civil servant amayankha motchula zipani? Tame your tongue, you dont know what brings tomorrow.

  14. Mpumulo says:

    Malawians lets not allow this to happen to our beautiful lake

  15. Aluweka says:

    The world is suffering from droughts and countries are lacking fresh water and we have been blessed with that. You want to mess that up ?

    Oil is not even worth much lately Barel is selling less than $50 do we want to pollute our only God given Blessing

  16. Kent says:

    Good, Simusokwe.

  17. Nkhuliyawuka says:

    Self-enriching decisions disguised as solutions to our challenges!

  18. mr nyasa says:

    Nothn wana benefit frm this but spoiling our lakes

  19. Malita says:

    Eeeeish, think about kissing! Umve wakewo. Tamadzisamalani a PS.

  20. Mpumulo wa Bata wayandikila says:

    There goes the beautiful lake Malawi,

  21. Where are we the Lake Malawi Border issue with Tanzania?

  22. saisoni says:

    Malawi atukuke. Amalawi umpawi sizithu musamangosusa chili chonse umphawi umakusangalasani?

  23. Sake Chilling says:

    Gift Simusokwe and his group should take a bit of their time to understand what was discussed at Cop 21 in Paris the past two weeks. One of the calls from people who “care” about this earth was “keep it in the ground!,” – and they meant fossil fuels!!

  24. Myao says:

    KOMA NDEBVUZO PILIZI!!

  25. Redeemed says:

    Any chances to purchase shares?.

  26. FootSoldier says:

    The Mutharika’s have NEVER loved Malawi that is why they are at peace with themselves with such a calamitous decision! Actually they have NEVER been Malawians! They are the only people to have allowed this nonsense–Kamuzu Banda in his 30 year reign was aware of the possibility oil and/gas on the lake but because he was Malawian and loved Malawi NEVER even contemplated to such madness!

  27. FootSoldier says:

    The country will certainly live to regret this decision. Nigeria was told the country;s per capita would soar to $350 with the commencement of oil and gas exploitations in 1965. After 50 years, a large sector of its population live on less than a dollar a day! and irreparable damage has been done to its environment, with only a few politically connected elites benefiting from the exploitation, Mark my words that will be replicated here except that here it is going to be a fresh-water lake! We will be the first people to exploit oil and gas from a fresh water lake– how much more stupid do you need to be! You worry about climate change effects which are millions of years away but pay deaf ear to calamitous effects of oil and gas exploitation on a fresh water lake that are immediate!

  28. Mandevu Waluza says:

    I as an individual i am totally against this. We will never have our Chambo, Mbuvu, Vimbomo, Sango, Mphasa, Mbuna, Usipa and etc in our beloved lake Malawi. No ordinary Malawian in the lakeshore area will get anything from this. Just like Kayerekera this will not benefit my good people of the lakeshore who have been happy since then when this has come in to disturb their peace. People are worried and confused.

  29. Jayjay says:

    Malawi govt cannot comment anything tangible. It has not expertise and besides has failed to produce a comprehensive report on the same. Why should wenot panic when we exactly know that you will destroy the lake as you did with Chikangawa plantation. The govt need to assure Malawians especially those where from oil/ has exploration will be done of compensation. The proceeds will be used to develop the southern region. The headquarters of this will be in Thyolo and not where the exploration is taking place so that people around could benefit.
    I do not support this idea at all. The proceeds will just be used to fund an individual or political parties on power. What share will Peter getting for awarding the contract to wining company? Bingu’s did it on Kayelekera.

  30. concerned citizen says:

    Our Country being sold by these greedy politicians,nothing tangible will come out of these senseless deals.We need some patriotic citizens who can go inside the parliament building and do some suicide bombing to kill every politician(All MP`s including the President).Tired of these recycled politicians

  31. Bebvu says:

    Mr Botolo, khalani phe. Inu munali PS ku Ministry yomweyo during Joyce Bandas time. what did you advise the politicians? Nonsense.

  32. Which former govt are talking about.Politicians are not experts.If things go wrong I blame the civil servants.I hope you have employed after PP.You have politicians who sale mandazi and the like so what is needed is your technical advice

  33. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA says:

    THERE IS NO PREVIOUS GOVT. YOU WERE IN THERE. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE ONE MALAWI GOVERNMENT

  34. Ameneyo says:

    This is the biggest man made disaster Malawi has ever experienced. I do not know of the fresh water lakes in the USA, Canada and Europe where oil is being drilled. Why then are we allowing this madness? Cry my beloved Malawi! We have learnt nothing from the Kayerekera mistake. God will punish you for your greed.

  35. Change says:

    Let us all Malawians not accept this evil thing. This will bring war to Malawi.

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