Block V and the Virunga National Park
The location of Block V
Block V (Roman numeral five) describes an area which has been delineated by the DRC Government for the purpose of oil and gas exploration. SOCO was awarded the Block V licence in June 2006 by the Government of the DRC. This award was ratified in 2010 by a DRC presidential decree, the final step in the licensing process.
Block V is an area of approx. 7,500 km2 on the border with Uganda; within Block V, SOCO’s specific area of interest is Lake Edward (approx 1,630 km2) and the adjacent lowland savannah which are both within the Virunga National Park. This region of eastern DRC is also commonly referred to as North Kivu, and as part of the Albertine Graben, the Albertine Rift and The Great Lakes Region.
It is emphasised that Block V is not located within the mountainous Mikeno Sector, home to the famous Mountain Gorillas. Furthermore, SOCO has stated it will never seek to have operations in the Mountain Gorilla habitat, the Virunga Volcanoes or the Virunga equatorial rainforest. This has been subject to much inaccurate media speculation.