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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
Name of conflict:MOIL Tsimiroro heavy oil, Madagascar
State or province:Melaky Region, Western Madagascar
Location of conflict:Tsimiroro, 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 commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Tsimiroro block is believed to be able to achieve at least 80,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels of oil output per day.

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Project area:60000
Level of Investment:1,500,000,000
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Madagascar Oil SA (MOIL) from Madagascar
Relevant government actors:President 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 Finance InstitutionsWorld Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:WWF, AVG (Alliance Voahary Gasy), NGO Voaharisoa, Friends of the Earth (FoE), Madagascar Environmental Justice Network (MEJN)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Conservationist organizations (WWF)
Forms of mobilization:Public 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
Other Environmental impactsThe 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…)
Other Health impactsNo 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-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Other socio-economic impactsIn 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
Conflict outcome / response:Fostering a culture of peace
There are only some concerns being openly aired
Development of alternatives:MOIL 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Optimistic report on Madagascar oil resources including Tsimiroro
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Tsimiroro oil field
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How will oil affect Madagascar's environmental riches?
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Madagascar Oil CEO says potential is "vast" with a 1.7billion barrel resource
[click to view]

Other comments:Madagascar 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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Contributor:RAHARINIRINA Vahinala
Last update18/08/2019
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