East African Rift

Topics: Petroleum, Rwanda, Great Rift Valley Pages: 15 (2697 words) Published: October 12, 2014
Table of Content

Introduction:
The East African Rift System is a place where old plates are splitting apart, while forming the new plates presently through the earth’s tectonic forces. This system has been considered as one of the geological wonders of the world. There have been numerous debates over the creation of rift in East Africa, by the geologists. The process of rifting has been expressed in a well-structured way in East Africa, that is, Ethiopia-Kenya-Uganda-Tanzania, which have made geologists to make a new name as Nubian Plate that makes up most of Africa. Whereas the smaller plate, which is being pulled away to be named as Somalian Plate.

East African Rift System is made up of two branches; Western branch and Eastern branch. Western branch consists of East African Great Lakes and renowned Lake Alber Rift, whereas on the other hand, Eastern branch bi-sects Kenya north to south. According to the fact that, Eastern and Western branches were developed by the same process, but their characteristics differs with each other. The Western Branch which contains large lakes – including Lake Tanganyika, the 2nd deepest lake in the world, and enormous sediment is characterized by deeper basins. Whereas, the Eastern branch has greater volcanic activity.
East African region is equipped with thirty seven international oil companies and gas licensed companies, where they have twenty-eight prospective sedimentary basins – they are the sediment rocks which preserves fuel, such as, natural gas and oil. Petroleum resources in this region, mainly due to East African Rift System have been estimated to consist 2 billion barrels of oil in place and 3 tcf of natural gas. Additionally, auxiliary resources are predicted in order to carry out the progressive exploration programs to further enrich the oil sector. The importance given over petroleum in this region can be proved by the fact of events taking place hosted by the East African Community regarding potential petroleum and investment opportunities. East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition (EAPCE) has been recognized globally especially for those working in the upstream petroleum sector. This event cater participants who are mainly explorers, financiers, academia, investors, researchers and service providers. East African Community hosted 5th EAPCE in 2011, where they kept a theme of harnessing East Africa’s oil and gas potential, while also utilizing the resources to create value. This successful conference took place in Kampala, Uganda, from 2nd to 4th February 2011. During that time, Kampala became a ground for players specializing in oil and gas industry to collaborate, conduct business and experience the showcasing of achievements in the sector. Additionally, EAPCE provided opportunities to assess the developments in the petroleum upstream sector in East Africa, while also enabling the participants to exchange ideas and information regarding recent developments, new investment proposals and opportunities in this region.

East African Rift System’s Development over Petroleum is Enormous Uganda:
The six sedimentary basins in Uganda, which also consists the Albertine Graben is the most prospective one, for petroleum extraction. The graben forms the northernmost part of the western arm of the East African Rift System, stretching from the border with Sudan in the north to Lake Edward in the south. Distance over 500km. The Graben averages 45km in width and covers an area in excess of 22,000km2 in Uganda. Currently, the Graben is subdivided into ten exploration areas, among them five are the licensed ones. Companies operating in Uganda are Tullow Oil plc, Heritage Oil and Gas Ltd, Tower Resources Ltd, and Dominion Petroleum. Licensing has been deferred since early 2006 expecting apprise of the country’s...

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