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Congo DRC
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Production from the upstream oil industry, mainly from offshore fields, is an important contributor to the national economy. Production is dominated by Perenco, a European independent exploration and production company, which bought Muanda International Oil Company (MIOC) from Chevron in 2004.

Perenco operates four concessions, both onshore and offshore, in the southwest Bas-Congo province, which is sandwiched between neighboring Angola and Republic of Congo. Perenco's partners in Congo are Teikoku Oil Co. Ltd., part of Japan's biggest oil and gas exploration company INPEX, and ODS. Perenco said 2007 production was about 25,000 barrels per day.

Exploration for oil and gas in DRC began in the 1960's along the country's 22 km Atlantic Ocean coastline at the estuary of the Congo River (Congo) which is sandwiched between the prolific offshore producing region of northern Angola and its oil-rich enclave of Cabinda. Exploration continued during the 1970's and early 1980's and by 1983, 41 wells had been sunk. Out of this activity, 5 operating oil fields and 1 gas field were discovered, the most significant finds being offshore. Of these, the Mibale field, discovered in 1973 by Chevron, contains 48% of the Coastal Basin's recoverable reserves and remains Congo's most productive field. The gas field discovered has so far not been exploited. In 1998 the DRC closed down its only simple oil refinery - SOCIR refinery - owned by Xoil and the Government of the DRC.

Eight Atlantic Ocean and Congo River estuary oil fields are in operation: one is a consortium composed of Zaire Gulf Oil Co. (Chevron), Teikoku Co. (a Japanese company), and Union Oil Co.; another is run by Petrofina. Production in 1999 totaled 25,100 barrels per day. Proven reserves amount to 187 million barrels, with offshore reserves accounting for only 20%. Large quantities of methane gas have been located at Lake Kivu, which is shared with Rwanda. Oil product imports consist of gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, aviation gas, fuel oil, and liquefied petroleum gas.

Tullow Oil signed a production sharing agreement with the government in July 2006 for a 48.5% operating interest in Blocks 1 and 2 on the Congolese side of the Lake Albert Basin, which sits in the northwest of the country, on the border with Uganda. Its partners in this deal are London-listed Heritage Oil with 39.5 percent and COHYDRO, the Congolese state oil company, with 12%.

Petroleum Law & Legislation

The industry is regulated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy which, through its Energy Department, controls the public and parastatal bodies, and private companies in the petroleum and power industries. In DRC, the acreage is licensed under a concession system. 12.5% royalties are calculated on wellhead value of production and are tax deductible. Income tax is 50% and operating and exploration costs are expensed. The State has the right to participate in any license holding company.

Oil & Gas Companies

Two American companies, namely, Chevron and Perenco, are the two major international petroleum companies working in DRC's coastal city of Muanda in the western region of Bas-Congo, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Perenco: is an independent Anglo-French oil and gas company with a headquarters in London. It has exploration and production activities in 16 countries across the globe including the DRC. Perenco is involved in operations both onshore and offshore with production equal to approximately 250,000 barrel of oil equivalent per day..
  • Chevron: is involved in oil exploration in Namibia and has production assets in Democratic Republic of Congo which include a 50% share of the offshore operations of Zaire Gulf Oil.

Key Figures

  • Oil production: 19,960 bbl/day(2008)
  • Oil Consumption: 11,000 bbl/day(2008)
  • Oil Exports: 20,090 bbl/day(2007)
  • Oil Imports: 11,350 bbl/day(2007)
  • Oil Proved Reserves: 180 million bbl(2009)
  • Natural Gas Production: 0 cu m(2008)
  • Natural Gas Consumption: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Proved reserves: 991.1 million cu m(2009)

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