Burundi Exploration Activities


Often called “The Heart of Africa,” Burundi is located between 2°45’ and 4°30’ latitude south and covers an area of 27,834km2. It is a landlocked independent state which borders with Rwanda, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo, thus forming part of the Central African Region.

Various studies have been conducted since 1959 for petroleum exploration both on the Rusizi basin and in the Lake Tanganyika basin. These basins are part of the East African Rift System and are located between Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia.

This Rift System is dated from Cenozoic (Tertiary) and is divided into two branches, the eastern arm and the western arm. The Lake Tanganyika and the plain of Rusizi belong to the western arm which consists of sedimentary basins marked by deep Lakes (Malawi, Tanganyika). In Burundi, these basins cover an area of 2,968.1km2.

Geological studies, gravimetric, aeromagnetic and seismic surveys have been conducted in the two basins and the average sediments thickness is estimated to be more than 3,000 meters. The exploration areas of Rusizi and Lake Tanganyika basins have been divided into four blocks: A (793.1 km), B (697,1 km), C (664 km) and D (813.4 km). Block A is on Rusizi basin which is onshore while B, C and D are offshore in Lake Tanganyika basin from North to South respectively.


 South to North play cross section across Burundi offshore waters
South to North play cross section across Burundi offshore waters

The Government of Burundi continues to encourage oil companies to invest in petroleum exploration. It is also reviewing the 1976 Petroleum Code with the objective of attracting more investors.

Blocks C & D were granted to A-Z Petroleum Products Limited and Surestream Petroleum Limited respectively for exploration. However, with the fall of crude prices, fieldwork on these blocks was suspended. The four blocks are currently free and available to potential investors