• Why is Oil Exploration Controversial in Congo?

Why is Oil Exploration Controversial in Congo?

Aug 07 2018 Read 595 Times

From disrupting Arctic whale migration to polluting water sources in North America, habitat destruction is an ongoing issue associated with the oil and gas industry. Now, environmental groups are warning that mountain gorillas in the Congo could face grave risk if the Central African nation gives the green light on oil research.

Concerns are growing amid plans to approve oil exploration in Virunga and Salonga National Parks, two of the most important wildlife reserves in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last month the country's cabinet approved the formation of an inter-institutional committee created to release parts of Virunga and Salonga to permit crude exploration.

Land releases a major threat for mountain gorillas

Virunga National Park is currently home to around 1000 mountain gorillas, a critically endangered subspecies of the eastern gorilla. It's the continent's oldest national park and is also a key habitat for a throng of iconic African animals, including lions, hippos, elephants and the unique okapi, also known as the zebra giraffe.

Salonga National Park, located in the Congo River basin, is the second-largest tropical rainforest reserve on the planet and is home to forest elephants, giant pangolins and around 40% of the world bonobo population. Both are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, though the committee will discuss releasing over 20% of Virunga and around 40% of Salonga.

World Wildlife Fund urges DRC to reconsider

The loss of habitat would be a major blow for the Congo's delicate natural ecosystem, with the World Wildlife Fund, a co-managing party of Salonga National Park, urging the government to rethink its decision.

"Extractive activity poses a grave risk to their exceptional flora and fauna as well as the lives and livelihoods of neighbouring communities,” warns WWF Congo spokesman Dandy Yela.

The calls come four years after UK oil company SOCO International signed a joint declaration with the World Wildlife Fund pledging to end oil exploration operations in Virunga National Park. Now, the organisation is pleading with the Democratic Republic of Congo government to protect its outstanding natural habitats and ban all oil concessions within the parks.

In the wake of climate change research, environmental safety is emerging as a top priority for oil and gas companies across the globe. Introducing a new project powered by an automated, real-time, in-situ aquifer monitoring system, 'ShaleSafe – a ‘First Alert’ System for Safer Shale Oil and Gas Extraction' explains how key parameters like methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be monitored multiple times a day.

Read comments0

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Digital Edition

Petro Industry News September 2018

September 2018

In This Edition Fuel for Thought - New Partnership for the US Distributio - Element opens new oil and gas laboratory in Singapore - Metrohm Acquires B&W Tek Analytical Instrumentation...

View all digital editions


NSC Conress & Expo

Oct 20 2018 Houston, USA

Offshore Energy 18

Oct 22 2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Oil & Gas

Oct 23 2018 Kiev, Ukraine

Waste and Recycling Expo

Oct 24 2018 Toronto, Canada

View all events