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  • Refinery options in the East African Region

    By George Wachira

    George Wachira

    Oil and Gas discoveries in the region are happening at a very fast pace , perhaps denying  us enough time to collectively as a region  think through implications on regional  petroleum infrastructure requirements,  especially refineries and pipelines. Opportunities for synergy and economies of scale in regional petroleum infrastructure will need to be actively pursued.

    In 2008, the East African Community (EAC) commissioned a regional refineries study to explore refining options for the region.  This was immediately after discoveries of oil in Uganda a couple of years earlier. The report recommended that a refinery be put up in Uganda and that the Mombasa refinery be immediately upgraded. Since the adoption of the refinery study report by the EAC summit, Uganda has progressed their plans to build a refinery, thought to be of 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity.   Read More

  • Tullow Oil releases 2012 results, quantifies Kenya discoveries

    Tullow Oil CEO, Aidan Heavey

    Tullow Oil plc this week released its 2012 full year results, portraying a strong financial performance and finally putting a figure to the commerciality of Kenya’s recent discoveries in the Lake Turkana area.

    The report also confirmed that the explorer found more oil in Uganda in December, in the Lyec-1 well at the northern end of Jobi East, but ended its year on a dour note, amidst a $ 473 million tax dispute with the Uganda government. Read More

  • Norway model not the best for Uganda, says leading oil commentator

    Dr. Duncan Clarke (Photo:in2eastafrica)

    Uganda does not necessarily have to adopt the Norwegian model for it to have a sustainable oil industry, says Zimbabwean born Dr. Duncan Clarke, an author and commentator on oil issues in Africa.

    In a presentation to the 6th East African Petroleum Exhibition and Conference in Arusha last week, Dr. Clarke referred to the Norwegian model as the “advocacy NGO type model” which “constrains the growth of the natural resource.” Read More

  • Uganda’s refinery on course, says PS—but companies seem to doubt it

    Seated: Tanzania’s Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda (second left) poses for a group photo with Uganda’s East African Affairs Junior Minister, Shem Bagaine (center) and EALA Speaker, Margaret Zziwa (second right), in Arusha

    Ugandan motorists will fill up their cars with locally processed fuel in four years time, according to the permanent secretary of the country’s energy ministry.

    Addressing the sixth East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition in Arusha last week, Fred Kabagambe Kaliisa insisted that Uganda’s refinery will start operating in 2016/17, with an initial capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). It will be expanded two years later to enhance production to 120,000 bopd, and later to 180,000 bopd “to match the growing regional petroleum products demand.” 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

  • Gradual development of higher-level oil training

    Tullow Oil Uganda’s General Manager, Jimmy Mugerwa. Many Ugandans are going overseas to obtain qualifications to compete for jobs like his.

    With Uganda continuing to discover more oil and slowly moving towards oil production, many top jobs in the industry will be up for grabs.

    But who is going to take up these top posts considering that few Ugandans have the qualifications needed? With an eye to future opportunities, forward-looking Ugandans have been applying to internationally recognized universities for further studies.

    In Uganda, three higher education institutions—Makerere, Nkumba, and Uganda Christian University (UCU)—now offer petroleum-related studies at some level. UCU has begun with optional courses for students studying other subjects, while Nkumba is offering a two-year diploma course and a three-year Bachleor’s degree. Makerere, ranked ninth in Africa, has key departments in Geology and Petroleum Studies and will this year offer, for the first time, a Masters degree in Petroleum Geosciences. Read More

  • Image: foundation stone at Kigumba

    Oil training site develops fast, but jobs are still uncertain

    One stone at a time: the first, laid by President Museveni, paves the way for great aspirations

    KIGUMBA, KIRYANDONGO DISTRICT:A foundation stone  laid last October by President  Museveni on a 200 acre plot, about four kilometres outside Kigumba town,  is all there is so far to mark a permanent home for the Uganda Petroleum Institute, Kigumba.

    But construction is going on nearby, with several sturdy blocks of temporary classrooms, dormitories and laboratories already complete, and expected to be ready for a new intake of students in March of this year. Read More

  • 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

  • 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