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Saturday, 28th January 2023
1:39:12pm

An oil company owned by Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler said on Thursday it had discovered around 3 billion barrels of oil in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an amount similar to the proven reserves of oil producers Britain and South Sudan.

The crude was discovered around Lake Albert on Congo's eastern border with Uganda, Oil of DRCongo said in a statement.

An analysis of seismic survey data "indicates around 3 billion barrels of oil in place", it said, although it was not yet clear what portion was recoverable.

"These are very positive results from our extensive seismic campaign," said Giuseppe Ciccarelli, Oil of DRCongo's CEO. "We continue to believe the project has the potential to provide significant revenues and multiple other benefits to the people of [Congo]."

The nearby Ugandan blocks are estimated to hold a similar amount of oil and are being developed by British company Tullow, France's Total and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC).

Oil of DRCongo said it now plans to prepare for the drilling of two exploration wells on the site by building infrastructure and relocating local communities.

Resource-rich Congo produces just 25 000 barrels of oil per day from onshore and offshore fields in western coastal areas and is seeking to increase production dramatically to boost growth and relieve poverty.

Oil made up just 1.7% of Congo's gross domestic product in 2012, according to the International Monetary Fund. Oil of DRCongo said production of 50 000 barrels per day at Lake Albert would expand Congo's economy by 25%.

-Reuters

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