Khulubuse Zuma bags DRC oilfields stake

2010-06-27 09:29

Johannesburg - Controversial businessman and nephew of President Jacob Zuma, Khulubuse Zuma, through his companies Caprikat and Foxwhelp, has gained access to two of only five blocks around the emerging rich oilfields of Lake Albert in the Democratic Republic of Congo to search for oil.

These two blocks were last week unexpectedly taken from British oil group Tullow and handed to Zuma's companies.

In a statement Tullow declared the awards a setback for Africa's reputation and said that it was absurd to give exploration licences in a sensitive environment to a company with no experience. Tullow added it had no doubts about its right to the blocks.'

Blocks one and two, those that have now been given to Zuma, were originally given to Tullow and its partner Heritage in 2006. But in 2008 the DRC government awarded Block one to a subsidiary of the JSE-listed South African Oil Company (Sacoil), causing great confusion as to who the actual owner was.

Until last week these awards were only provisional, but President Joseph Kabila has now confirmed them.

Apart from Zuma's access to the oil blocks, Sacoil also received the rights to Block three.

In a statement on Friday Sacoil welcomed the news, while saying it still wished to liaise with the DRC government about its supposed rights to Block one, which now belongs to Zuma.

Block four has not been finally awarded, while Block five is still in the hands of Soco International and its partner, Dominion Resources.

In 2008 an evaluation of Sacoil's Block three produced an exceptionally conservative valuation of R1.8bn at an oil price of $60 a barrel.

Both small and large international oil groups like Total and the Chinese state-controlled oil company, CNOOC, have been trying to get control of this oilfield for the past two years.

The Lake Albert oilfield extends across the DRC's border with Uganda and promises to give a huge boost to the economies of both countries.

The big oil groups have had more success on the Ugandan side of the lake.

However, in a recent report British watchdog group in the oil industry, Platform, has highlighted various irregularities in awarding the Lake Albert blocks.
It could take years before the region delivers its first oil because significant exploration and capital expenditure are needed before production can begin.

Zuma's companies have already entered into partnership with Swiss consultancy Medea Development.

Zuma and his partner in Aurora Empowerment Systems, Zondwa Mandela, recently made news in South Africa with their failed attempt to take over the Pamodzi Group, which left thousands of mineworkers without income for months.


  • mike - 2010-06-27 10:47

    Well what do you expect, he learnt from the Uncle master.

  • Ash - 2010-06-27 11:25

    This was probably in exchange for free passage for the scam artists and drug dealers to continue plying their trade in rsa - I wouldnt be supprised if both governments were involved in drugs and other criminal activities like smuggeling cobalt etc,thats why they cover for each other

  • peter - 2010-06-28 08:58

    When will everyone with a brain in their head wake up. Over the weekend I heard they closed the N1 from Atterbury to Soweto so Zuma could speed to the soccer match without the inconvenience of a little traffic. His entourage is like Bobs, his family is playing in the DRC with oil (what do they know about oil?) and the world looks on, and worse still our idiot voters keep him in power. Just spare a thought at how many cops were needed to close 50km of highway? The cost and disruption caused? These cops could have been fighting crime..!...ah sorry I forgot, crime is their employer's business!!! Silly me....

  • modisa - 2010-07-27 12:11

    Peter, why such bitter commentry? What you heard about the president's convoy is just a rumour. You are nowhere near being led by a Mugabe type dictator but if you are always going to be hypersensitive and unreasonable in your criticism, you will convince none of your fellow voters and later get the leader you deserve. Mugabe. It will now do to wake up everyday and insult the President, it is unwarranted and builds disrespect for not only his office but all of society's institutions.

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