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  • Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga is set to contest for the Presidency in March. Oil revenue will be key to the success of the incoming government's programmes.

    Kenya sets tough terms for next oil acreage licensing round

    Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga is set to contest for the Presidency in March. Oil revenue will be key to the success of the incoming government’s programmes.

    Any oil company intending to acquire an oil exploration licence in Kenya will have to present audited – accounts showing a minimum cash balance of at least one hundred million dollars. Successful bidders will be required to part with a signature bonus of one million dollars, as well as spend at least half a million dollars on “Community Development Projects” in Kenya every year. The oil companies will also have to spend a minimum of 200,000 dollars per year on training Kenyans to equip them with skills for the oil and gas industry.

    Speaking to Oil in Uganda in an exclusive interview in Nairobi last week, Kenya’s Commissioner for Petroleum Energy, Martin Mwaisakenyi Heya, revealed that Kenya had decided to take measures to discourage smaller oil companies from entering its oil and gas sector. 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

  • Image: the Ondiek exploration well

    Hope and frustration in Nebbi, Uganda’s new oil frontier

    This is as close as one can approach Ondiek well without attracting the attention of security guards.

    PANYIMUR SUB-COUNTY, NEBBI DISTRICT:   “It came around Christmas time” says Sylvester Odongo, LC-1 chairman of Abok village, referring to the red and white drilling rig that towers over the bush a few hundred metres from his compound of four, grass-thatched huts.

    It doesn’t trouble them much in the day, he adds—except that when villagers get close to the fenced-off rig, to tend their gardens of cassava and cotton, security guards order them away. Then, at dusk, extra generators kick in to light up the 24-7 drilling operation.  “The noise is terrible and it’s really hard to sleep” the tired chairman complains. 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

  • O

    UCU ramps up oil and gas training capacity

    The oldest building at the UCU campus. The university is looking to the future with new oil courses.

    Uganda Christian University, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions, is seeking to develop petroleum management expertise through an Oil and Gas Leadership Institute which is expected to evolve into a fully fledged department. Established in 2010 and currently housed within the university’s School of Research and Postgraduate Studies, the institute is the product of a visit to the University of Queensland in Australia in 2009.

    Read More

  • Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo

    MP Ssekikubo, leading critic of oil bill, arrested

    Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo

    Member of Parliament, Theodore Ssekikubo (NRM Lwemiyaga), a vocal critic of the petroleum bill recently passed by Uganda’s parliament, was arrested last night on charges of “inciting violence” according to national media.

    Hon. Ssekikubo, who chairs the Parliamentary Forum on Oil and Gas, was reportedly arrested on Bombo Road in Kampala at around 9pm.   He had previously been summoned to appear in court on charges of inciting violence at Christ the King church during a requiem mass for the late Cerinah Nebanda, Read More

  • Image: John Nagenda

    “The President cannot know everything”

    Nagenda: "annoyed" with donors, "tired of everything ending up in the hands of the president"

    President Museveni’s long-serving senior media adviser, John Nagenda, freely admits that he knows more about cricket than oil.   Yet, he tells Oil in Uganda in this exclusive interview, Ugandans are perhaps too inclined to forge ahead without advice—and none more so than the president.  Oil could transform Uganda, he argues, but more parliamentary oversight would help prevent abuse, and it needs to be treated as a national resource.

    Read More

  • Image: Christmas turkey

    So you think you know about oil? And want to be a millionaire?

    For this young man, a bird on the shoulder is worth more than a barrel of oil in the bush (Photo: NY)

    The Oil in Uganda team extends warm, seasonal greetings to all our readers.  Also, to entertain you in between bouts of feasting, we have prepared a little quiz to test your general knowledge of oil  in Uganda and beyond.  Doing the quiz won’t, alas, make you a millionaire, but you may glean some interesting–and some shocking–facts. The answers to the following twenty questions appear at the end of the text—together with a ‘performance assessment’ depending on how many questions you answered correctly. Read More

  • Image: Irene Sekyana

    New leadership for civic oil coalition

    Irene Sekyana, newly elected Chair of CISCO (Photo: NY)

    Transparency and access to information will be the key demands and objectives of the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas (CISCO) under its newly elected Chair, Irene Sekyana.

    “We want to see how the coalition can be broadened out to reach grass roots people in the oil producing areas because they are vulnerable and they will be impacted most by oil and gas development”  Ms. Sekyana told Oil in Uganda.  “We want to reach these people and give them information and then see how they can use that to advocate for having their rights respected—property rights, land rights, environmental rights and social rights.” Read More