Lake Albert is part of the complicated system of the upper Nile. Its main sources are the Victoria Nile, ultimately coming from Lake Victoria to the southeast, and the Semliki River, which issues from Lake Edward to the southwest. The water of the Victoria Nile is much less saline than that of Lake Albert. Its outlet, at the northernmost tip of the lake, is the Albert Nile (which becomes known as the Mountain Nile when it enters Sudan).
At the southern end of the lake, where the Semliki comes in, there are swamps. Farther south loom the mighty Ruwenzori Range, while a range of hills called the Blue Mountains tower over the northwestern shore. The few settlements along the shore include Butiaba and Pakwach.
Conflict is arising over oil found in Lake Albert. Reserves are estimated at less than 100,000 barrels a day for about 10 years when production starts. Tensions between the DRC and Uganda in early August 2007, largely over the ownership of the small Rukwanzi Island, led to an armed clash that killed a British geologist working for an oil prospector.