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President Museveni Hails Tanzanian Partnership in Developing Ugandan Oil

Thursday, 3rd February 2022


As Total Energies, the international French oil and gas company and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) announced their final investment decision to develop oil reserves in the Ugandan Albertine Graben, President Museveni recalled the warm brotherly ties that exist between Uganda and Tanzania, the two countries which will share the economic benefits of this $10 billion investment. The President reminisced on the great contribution  the Tanzanian first President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, had made to Uganda  hailing in addition, the support which the late President Mugafuli had given to the oil pipeline that will carry crude oil from Uganda to the Tanzanian port of Tanga. He thanked the current President, Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan, for continuing in the footsteps of her predecessors by buying 15 per cent of project shares.

There is no doubt that the oil project will boost the growth of the Ugandan economy; with expectations that it will offer thousands of jobs to the youth, thus relieving the high unemployment rate in the country. The Tilenga and King Fisher project will be commercialised through the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) which will be used to export the crude to external markets. In addition, Government and other joint venture partners will commission a 60,000-barrel-per-day oil refinery which will produce fuel and petrochemical requirements for the Ugandan, East African Community and other regional markets. This will constitute the second dimension of the commercialisation of Ugandan oil.

The road to the present milestone of the Ugandan oil journey has been a long one, starting in the colonial period when oil seepage was observed near Lake Albert in 1920. Upon coming to power in 1986, President Museveni in his own words, traced these observations. But unlike the colonial government which had shelved the observations, he followed the matter up by initiating capacity building for the country to run its own oil and gas sector by sending young Ugandans to study these specific areas of geological science. It is the first batch of these professionals who worked with global companies to identify and quantify the oil and gas resources in the country. Among the first batch were the current Executive Director of Uganda Petroleum Authority Ernest Rubondo; and Fred Kabagambe and Robert Kasande, former permanent secretaries in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. Studies and surveys conducted subsequently confirmed the existence of these resources in the Albertine Graben.  Uganda has since then continued training scientists and other professionals in these lucrative areas of her resource endowments.