DRC expands oil and gas blocks put up for auction

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The DRC is increasing the number of oil and gas exploration blocks it will put for auction. It is now selling 240,000 square kilometres of oil refinery, according to the Ministry of Haïdrocarbons.

Initially, Kinshasa had planned to give away 16 oil blocks but with the war in Ukraine sharpening Western demands, the Central African country doesn't want to be left behind and almost doubled this number on Monday.

Greenpeace is denouncing this decision saying it "exposes Congolese people to corruption, violence, and poverty that inevitably come with the curse of oil".

According to the environmental NGO, at least nine of these blocks overlap with protected natural areas.

But Congolese Environment minister Eve Bazaïba rejected these accusations stating on Congolese public television that the necessary studies had been carried out before the exploration rights were granted.

The auction is scheduled to start on July 28.

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