Surestreams Petroleum, a UK-based firm which has been granted a license to explore oil on Lake Malawi, has dismissed fears that its exploration activities would impact negatively on the fresh waters of the lake and its ecosystem.
Lake Malawi, which occupies one fifth of Malawi, is blessed with 500 different species of fish which environmentalists fear may be affected.
Keith Robinson, general manager for the company in Malawi said in Lilongwe that despite earlier fears from environmentalists, his company will not use dangerous chemicals and explosives “since our work is not environmentally threatening.”
“This is a highly technical process and we will use different techniques including an aerial-magnetic survey involving a helicopter with sensitive instruments to fly onto the lake but also we will use a vessel on the lake which will have sound waves detectors and all these are environmentally-friendly,” he said.
He said their activities will also involve local biologists, scientists, zoologists and other petroleum geologists and also international and local economists who will carry out independent environmental studies.
Robinson stated that in two weeks time, his company is scheduled to sit down with a group of experts to plan on how they are going to carry out the EIA before sending the plan to government.
Surestream is currently conducting similar explorations in Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He disclosed that oil exploration on the lake should take about four to seven years.