MOIL Tsimiroro heavy oil, Madagascar


Tsimiroro is the name of a large oil field in the onshore Morondava Basin of Madagascar found south of the Bemolanga ultra heavy oil field and south of the town of Morafenobe. It is estimated to contain as many as 9.3 billion barrels of heavy oil.

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Basic Data
NameMOIL Tsimiroro heavy oil, Madagascar
ProvinceMelaky Region, Western Madagascar
SiteTsimiroro, Morafenobe District
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Establishment of reserves/national parks
Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Tsimiroro block is believed to be able to achieve at least 80,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels of oil output per day.

The information available on the Tsimiroro field is varying. MOIL's highest estimate is 4.5 billion barrels of oil in place with a production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day over 20+ years. At the same time, an independent estimate made in 2009 was of only 3.5 billion barrels and 900 million barrels oil recoverable.

MOIL plans to sell part of its production in the local market, especially to the state-owned electric utility and water services company JIRAMA. MOIL commits to rehabilitate the Tsimiroro - Tsiroanomandidy and Tsimiroro-Maintirano roads.

In may 2014, MOIL declared to the media that the test phase was successfull and the company will commercialize 73.000 barrels in september 2014.
Project Area (in hectares)60000
Level of Investment (in USD)1,500,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Company Names or State EnterprisesMadagascar Oil SA (MOIL) from Madagascar
Relevant government actorsPresident of Madagascar, Economic Development Board of Madagascar (EDBM), Office of National Mines and Strategic Industries (OMNIS), The National Environment Office (ONE) , Mines and Hydrocarbons Ministry, Malagasy Environment Ministry, Melaky Region

Mines and Hydrocarbons Ministry

Malagasy Environment Ministry

Melaky Region
International and Financial InstitutionsWorld Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersWWF, AVG (Alliance Voahary Gasy), NGO Voaharisoa, Friends of the Earth (FoE), Madagascar Environmental Justice Network (MEJN)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Conservationist organizations (WWF)
Forms of MobilizationPublic campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Fires
OtherThe AVG (Alliance Voahary Gasy) is very concerned about the possible risks of pollution in Tsimiroro as the steam injected into the underground is mixed with solvents. They are also concerned by the lack of transparency in decision making, and the potential pressure on water resources induced by the use of steam technology ; International Conservation organisations are concerned about the future of the two protected areas and the UNESCO World Inheritage Tsingy which are located very close to Tsimiroro
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
OtherNo information available to public about the steam flood process and its impatcs. This process is water voracious and uses chemicals. So these are some questions from EJOs: So what about the water supply in this arid region? what about the chemicals?
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
OtherIn the Tsimiroro Region, people are mainly zebu breeders. What will they become? Will MOIL company displace them? Are they obliged to change their activities?

Tour operators fear that mining will kill tourism in this Region
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseFostering a culture of peace
There are only some concerns being openly aired
Development of AlternativesMOIL commits to sell part of its production to the local market. It is the first mining company in Madagascar to do this step.

MOIL has promoted dialogue with local communities, scholars and civil society.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The WWF Madagascar representative says current oil and gas projects in Tsimiroro present less risks in comparison to the controversial tar sand deposits further north (Bemolanga), whose exploitation has been ruled out for now because of possible water pollution. However, WWF says the Tsimororo oilfield may pose an environmental threat.
Sources and Materials

Optimistic report on Madagascar oil resources including Tsimiroro
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How will oil affect Madagascar's environmental riches?
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Tsimiroro oil field
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Media Links

Madagascar Oil CEO says potential is "vast" with a 1.7billion barrel resource
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Other Documents

MOIL drilling in Tsimiroro In 2012, MOIL drilled a total of 28 wells at Tsimiroro for the pilot programme
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MOIL workers
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MOIL Tsimiroro
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MOIL Licence area
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Other CommentsMadagascar become a heaven for extractive industries: "La Grande Ile deviendra un pays minier d’ici 2015 d’après la Banque mondiale. Une bonne partie des ressources minières et d’éventuelles ressources pétrolières se trouve sur des zones riches en biodiversité terrestre ou marine. C’est le cas pour la partie ouest du pays qui verra la présence d’au moins 4 grands projets miniers, soit la bauxite de Manantenina, l’ilménite près d’Ifaty, l’huile lourde de Tsimiroro et le charbon de la Sakoa".
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ContributorRAHARINIRINA Vahinala
Last update04/03/2015