By Godfrey Olukya
ARU, Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda have signed a five-year joint exploration agreement for oil under Lake Kivu.
Lake Kivu lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda in the Albertine Rift valley. It is approximately 90 kilometers (56 miles) long and 50 km (31 miles) wide.
An officer at the DRC's Information Ministry, Raphael Mukendi told Anadolu Agency on Monday that the agreement had been signed a few days ago by DRC's Minister for Hydrocarbons Aime Ngoi-Mukena and Rwandan Minister for Natural resources Vincent Biruta.
''The two countries signed an agreement in which they agreed to work together in exploring for oil in Lake Kivu. They will carry out joint exploitation of oil resources in Lake Kivu if any hydrocarbons are discovered under the shared cross-border area of the lake.''
He added that according to the agreement, the two countries will share technical and geological data obtained during exploration.
In 2014, an oil survey exercise in Rwanda discovered that the Lake Kivu basin was favorable for oil and gas exploration.
In February 2017, a Rwandan firm, Ngali Mining company won petroleum exploration rights in Lake Kivu.