Surestream, the British company exploring oil on Lake Malawi, has said it has embarked on an environmental and social impact assessment which will be completed in 2021.
This means Malawians should be patient as oil drilling may only start in 10 yearsâ€™ time.
Surestream general manager Keith Robinson said this in an interview last week.
“We know Lake Malawi has a unique ecosystem that we need to study so that the drilling exercise does not damage it.
“We are optimistic that there is oil in the lake judging from significant commercial discoveries in the rift valley such as Lake Albert in Rwanda,” said Robinson.
He said his company is only doing exploration to ascertain oil availability, thereafter drilling companies will come in.
Oil exploration is a very complicated process and normally takes over five years. Kenya on Monday announced it has finally struck oil after decades of exploration.
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki called the discovery a “major breakthrough,” though it will take more than three years before the country can become an oil producer.
Surestream company is working hand in hand with six scientists from Chancellor College who are mainly helping with research on the lakeâ€™s ecosystem.
“We know that local experts know their surrounding well, hence, their involvement,” he said.
Robinson said later in the year, they will engage fishermen from Karonga and Nkhotakota to share their experiences and advise how fish can be protected in the lake.
“This is a huge investment and we want Malawians to support it because once oil is found, the economy of the country will improve,” he said.
Surestream is a British exploration company with great scientific expertise and employs highly qualified geophysicists.