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Madagascar contains two important deposits, the Bemolanga tar sand and the Tsimiroro heavy crude oil. Although known for years, they have received intensive investigation recently in effort to achieve a measure of energy independence in the face of rising oil costs and dollar-exchange values. The aim for the Bemolanga deposit is to establish a mining and bitumen-separation operation capable of supplying 15,000 b/d of finished petroleum products. The deposit is of sufficient size; separation of the bitumen is being investigated through the hot-water process, the Lurgi-Ruhrgas thermal process, solvent processes (RTR), and the Taciuk thermal process. The Tsimiroro deposit includes 4.8 billion bbl of original oil in place and 1.45 billion bbl of reserve potential. It is hoped to achieve a level of 31,500 b/d, a not impractical goal.

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