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Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Awards Winds E&P Largest Methane-Filled Gas Block on Lake Kivu

Updated: Feb 19

▪ Houston based Winds E&P wins largest 473.22 KM2 Idjwi Gas Block in DRC and plans Methane and CO2 plants.

▪ Company plans to adopt its successful strategy at Castlegate Fields, Utah in Congo

Lake Kivu Photographer: Oscar Espinoza/Getty Images

Read This Bloomberg Article on the new gas blocks in Congo allocated to the

Winds Exploration team

Houston’s Winds E&P LLC won the concession to produce methane and monetize the carbon dioxide trapped in Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country’s oil Minister Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga announced the result of the winning bidders after a transparent bidding process that was open to local and international companies with experience in producing methane and carbon dioxide; primary criteria being current production experience and capacity to develop the field.

Winds is currently producing methane at Castlegate Field. It is a coal-bed methane (CBM) field located in Carbon County, Utah near the southwest margin of the Uinta Basin.

Castlegate Field, Utah Photographer: Uzo Ihekwoaba/

Situated near Drunkards Wash and Helper Fields, the field is close to and taps into the extensive Mountain West pipeline system. The field lies between the base of the Roan Cliffs and the top of the Book Cliffs on a dissected swale called Emma Park. Elevation varies between approximately 7100 to 8000 feet above sea level. Over the years, 58 wells have been drilled but there are currently 31 active wells in the field, 27 of which are currently producing. Cumulative production is presently at 19 BCFG. Winds exploration and Production LLC has been operating the field for four years and now controls 22,272 gross acres (22,050 net).

Winds Chief Executive Officer Frank Ihekwoaba confirmed the company won the large Idjwi methane gas block on Lake Kivu as operator through its parent company Royal Rock Forte LLC, also of Houston. The company proposed to provide gas to mining companies which will lower the use of diesel towards the country’s energy transition to cleaner energy and develop the country’s first carbon dioxide plant.

According to the CEO, “as operator of the Castlegate Field, we have expertise in extracting methane from coal or water and sequesting/monitizing CO2. We are planning to showcase Congo, redefine energy transition as it fits the purpose of a developing country and make Congo the hub for regional energy transition. This will require investment of about $500 million. Experience from our engagements indicated that DRC is primed to chart a progressive direction in sources and uses of energy. Certainly, there is latent demand for gas to power the future.”

Historically, Lake Kivu became known for the carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, and methane that reside and accumulate at the bottom of the lake. When the lake becomes oversaturated with gases, an eruption or fire is imminent. This development plan will forestall Lake Kivu reaching a high level of CO2 saturation; where the water becomes heavily saturated and capable of causing a limnic eruption that historically posed great risk to human and wildlife.

At a similar lake in Cameroon, a French engineering team installed pipes in Lake Nyos to degas the lake. The pipes allow the bottom water to rise up at a controlled rate and release the CO2 slowly and safely into the air. Similar pipes were installed in Lake Monoun in 2003. Less than a decade later, the small lake degassed to safe levels.

With the technology from our current operation, Winds is poised to achieve a combination of degassing the lake, using the gas to eliminate the use of diesel powered generators, and making the lake more conducive and safer for sea life and human uses.

Read: (Link to other write ups on Winds E&P or Castlegate Field in Utah)

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