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Zambia: Sitting on the Next Lake Albert?

Zambia has no proven oil reserves as of yet, but we’re looking here because there is massive exploration interest with the potential tie-in to hot Angola and geological similarities with Lake Albert--and we believe the next major find in Africa could be in Zambia. So we’re looking at who is buying up the acreage here, where we are with drilling and who is best positioned to capitalize on this once that big find puts Zambia on the emerging oil map with its neighbors.

In late 2006, Zambia detected its first oil deposits in the mineral-rich North-Western province, close to Angola. In 2008, it also confirmed the presence of oil in two other areas; in the west—again close to Angola—and in the east.

The Zambian government is growing impatient with its explorers, in February threatening them to use it or lose, as the country eyes significant finds for its neighbors in the region. Minister of Mines Yamfwa Mukanga said licenses would be revoked if companies failed to report exploration results soon. His take on the potential is that “God cannot be unfair”: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola have struck oil; Tanzania and Mozambique have massive natural gas reserves; Zambia—Africa’s top copper producer--is right in the middle of this hydrocarbon bonanza.

The Geological Snapshot of the Zambian Rift

The Zambian Rift encompasses includes Lake Tanganyika, which covers 8 separate rift basins within the…

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