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Land area (sq kms)

Oil prod (000s b/d)

Gas prod (bcm/yr)

Oil cons (000s b/d)

Gas cons (bcm/yr)

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Burundi (the Republic of Burundi) in the Great Lakes region is bordered by Rwanda (north), Tanzania (east), and Congo (Kinshasa) (west).  Its southwestern border runs through Lake Tanganyika.

Hunter-gatherers settled East Africa around 8000 BC. The Twa tribe are descended from the earliest people but the country is now mainly inhabited by Hutus and Tutsis who arrived later. The Tutsi Kingdom of Burundi was founded around the 16th Century expanding to compete with Rwanda especially in the first half of the 19th Century. In 1856 Europeans first visited  but the Burundian kingdom opposed them and it was not until 1899 that it was forced to become part of German East Africa. After Germany’s defeat in World War 1 control was ceded to Belgium who, from 1924, ruled the colony known as Ruanda-Urundi.  

Following World War 2 it was administered by Belgium who, in 1959, relaxed powers to allow political parties. Driven by the Hutu revolt in Rwanda, Tutsis took overall control and Burundi gained independence in 1962. A series of coups, 2 civil wars and ethnic conflict including 2 genocides has left the country undeveloped and very poor dependent on subsistence agriculture. In 2004, the UN took over peacekeeping to help a transitional power-sharing government but unrest continues.

The land-locked country lies in the Great Lakes region of East Africa underlain by metamorphic basement except in the west which forms part of the East African rift. This rift is on trend with the oil-bearing Albertine Rift in Uganda.

However, Burundi has no identified indigenous oil or gas resources and, while drilling is not occurring, is unlikely to achieve any production in the future.

Recent successes in Uganda to the north could eventually lead to some new exploration activity in the region of Lake Tanganyika and in the Rusizi valley north of Bujumbura but Globalshift does not forecast any production in the short or medium term.

Geography, and oil and gas summary

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Capital: Bujumbura

Population: 8.5 million     

Burundi is a presidential democratic republic. The President is head of state and head of government. Burundi enacted a transitional government in 2000. The legislative branch is a bicameral assembly, consisting of a 170-member Transitional National Assembly and a 51-member Transitional Senate.

There is no government department in Burundi specifically responsible for oil and gas resources.



Brief history of the country

South and East Africa

Burundi Government and NOCs