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  • A gas flare

    Gas: not the main meal but a useful side dish

    A gas flare. Government policy can decide whether natural gas will be a nuisance and health hazard, or a useful resource .

    Close to 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas is thought to lie trapped in a reservoir under Uganda’s Albertine Graben in addition to the 3.5 billion barrels of oil that have so far been discovered.

    This sounds like a lot but it is chicken feed compared to the huge gas fields that have been discovered off the coast of South East Africa.  Tanzania has found 40 trillion cubic feet.  Mozambique has 100 trillion—1,000 times as much as Uganda. Read More

  • A crude oil pipeline in South Sudan. (Photo: Gurtong)

    Bashir threatens South Sudan, again

    A crude oil pipeline in South Sudan. (Photo: Gurtong)

    Sudan’s President Omar Bashir has once again threatened to halt South Sudan’s crude oil exports through Sudan, claiming that the South is supporting rebels against his government.

    Sudan has given the South sixty days, as provided for in a cooperation agreement between the two countries last September, to drop its alleged support for the Sudan Revolutionary Forces rebel group or find another route to the sea for its crude oil. South Sudan, however,  denies supporting the rebels. Read More

  • President Yoweri Museveni

    Refinery for government, pipeline for the oil companies

    President Yoweri Museveni

    President Yoweri Museveni yesterday confirmed that his government had reached an agreement with the oil companies on the direction the development of Uganda’s oil fields in the Albertine Region will take.

    While delivering his State of the Nation Address, President Museveni said that government had finally accepted the proposal by the oil companies to construct a pipeline to transport crude oil to the coast, in addition to its (government) preferred choice of a refinery in Hoima district. Read More

  • A camp on the Hoima-Kaiso Tonya road belonging to Kolin Construction, the Turkish firm building the road.

    Oil sparks roads upgrade

    A camp on the Hoima-Kaiso Tonya road belonging to Kolin Construction, the Turkish firm building the road.

    With Uganda poised to commence the development of its oil and gas resources, government is working emphatically to improve its road infrastructure to accommodate the massive influx of cargo into the country.

    Last week, the junior Minister for Works and Transport, John Byabagambi, told delegates at the Uganda Mining and Energy Conference in Kampala that several roads in the oil-rich Albertine Region have either been repaired or resurfaced since 2007, while others are still under construction. Read More

  • Ghana’s Tema Oil Refinery: expensive and inefficient, critics say, but the Government of Ghana appears committed to keeping it going.

    Government and oil companies agree on refinery, pipeline strategy

    Ghana’s  45,000 bpd Tema Oil Refinery: The Uganda government has  reached an agreement with the oil companies to set up a similar facility, but  with less capacity.

    The deadlock between the government of Uganda and international oil companies over the size of the refinery to be built in Hoima District has finally been broken, a senior government official has confirmed.

    “The government and the oil companies have struck a deal that it should be 30,000 barrels a day,” Assistant Petroleum Commissioner Robert Kasande told Oil in Uganda in a telephone interview.

    Previously, the government had wanted to start with a small refinery producing 20,000 barrels a day, and then progressively scale it up to 120,000 barrels per day. Oil companies argued that this was too ambitious and that the majority of the crude oil should be exported through a pipeline.  Read More

  • Part of the disused Tororo-Pakwach line as it passes near Gulu.

    Oil spurs rail revival

    Part of the disused Tororo-Pakwach line as it passes near Gulu.

    After decades of neglect, colonial railways built to extract East Africa’s resources are beginning to be revamped to facilitate oil extraction.

    Oil production brings huge, freight transport needs. Tullow Uganda’s General Manager, Jimmy Mugerwa, caused a stir at a January conference in Kampala when he revealed that close to a million tonnes of cargo will be moved into the region from the coast to kick start oil production. Read More

  • Image: RVR repairs

    Working together: good idea, but hard to do

    Repairs to the railway network operated by RVR in Kenya and Uganda: a modest start to getting the region ready for oil production. (Photo: WMC Africa)

    A regional deal on oil infrastructure would likely be in the best interests of all East Africa’s players—but it doesn’t seem likely to happen, writes Chris Musiime in this special report, which will appear in our fourth print newsletter.

    With the recent oil discoveries in Kenya, confirmed commercial quantities in Uganda and prospecting under way in Somalia and Ethiopia (as well as huge gas discoveries in Tanzania, which is also prospecting for oil), some estimates indicate that East Africa could soon be producing upwards of a million barrels of oil per day. Read More

  • Hon. Mary Jervase Yak (South Sudan) chats with Prof. Edward Rugumayo at the forum (Photo: Wandera Ouma)

    Proper revenue management, infrastructure development top agenda at regional oil and gas forum

    South Sudan’s Hon. Mary Jervase Yak  chats with Uganda’s Prof. Edward Rugumayo at the forum (Photo: Wandera Ouma)

    Key speakers at the ongoing regional forum on oil and gas in Kampala have emphasised the need for proper management of oil revenues as the East African Region prepares to join the world’s oil and gas producers.

    While opening the forum, Uganda’s Finance Minister, Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, stressed that oil revenues should be used to boost the sustainability of other productive sectors. “We want the black gold underground to facilitate the green gold above the ground”, she said. “Agriculture and tourism are all renewable resources vital to our economy. They need good financing for sustainability”. Read More

  • Image: Bukenya Matovu

    “As soon as the president assents, everything will be in motion”

    Bukenya Matovu, Senior Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development

    What are the next steps in establishing the Petroleum Authority and National Oil Company mandated by the upstream Petroleum Bill passed at the end of last year?  Why has the president, who repeatedly intervened to push the bill through parliament, not yet got round to signing it?  When will the government invite bids from companies keen to take up new exploration licences?   What are the prospects for East African countries to come up with a joint, win-win, oil infrastructure development plan?  And with so much oil and gas prospecting in the region, can Uganda be sure that there will be a local export market for products from the country’s planned oil refinery?  These are the among the questions addressed by Mr. Bukenya Matovu, Senior Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the ministry’s main spokesperson , in the following, exclusive interview, transcribed in full. Read More

  • The landscape in Nwoya District where Total has found more oil.

    Exclusive: Total makes new oil discovery in Nwoya

    The landscape in Nwoya District where Total has found more oil.

    Total S.A. has made a new discovery of oil in Nwoya District, according to a senior member of the government, although details remain sketchy and no official announcement has been made.

    State Minister for Minerals, Peter Lokeris, revealed the news a week ago in an exclusive interview with Oil in Uganda. “Now that [new] oil has been discovered in Nwoya, the company should improve the infrastructure and create job opportunities,” he said. Read More