President Felix Tshisekedi, who is seeking re-election in December, has promised to shake off Congo’s reputation for opaque dealings as he pushes plans to develop dozens of oil and gas blocks – many of them in environmentally sensitive areas.
Canada-based Alfajiri Energy Corporation was included in the auction although an evaluation report produced by a government-appointed commission in October 2022 found the company did not meet minimum financial requirements.Additionally, a technical report assessing the bid, dated Dec. 8 2022, appeared to have been altered in Alfajiri’s favour, according to the documents and the sources.
Tshisekedi’s office declined to comment, saying any questions about the auction should be directed to Budimbu. The hydrocarbons ministry’s call for expressions of interest in the project spelt out a clear stipulation, only companies with three years of financial records would be considered suitable, a requirement that reflected a clause in Congo’s new oil and gas regulations. headtopics.com
Joseph Nzau was a lawyer for the ministry when the regulations governing the sector were drafted. He said the financial history requirement was created after several companies that signed previous oil and gas contracts ended up lacking the means to execute projects.
Budimbu was responsible for organising the auction to find suitable operators. He was also in charge of forming the panel that drew up the bid assessment reports and passing the panel’s conclusions to the council of ministers, which approved the winner based on the recommendations. headtopics.com
However, some scientists, including vulcanologist Dario Tedesco, say failure to properly reinject water and by-products could increase the chances of eruptions of carbon dioxide and poisonous hydrogen sulfide, pollute the lake bottom and alter its delicate chemical and physical balance.Despite its lack of financial history, Alfajiri advanced in the process, and its bid for the Lwandjofu block was assessed alongside those of U.S.