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.
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
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
Uganda and East Africa as a whole remain “a core asset” for Tullow Oil, despite investment analysts’ speculation that the company may sell its Albertine Graben licences, and despite a new tax dispute with the Government of Uganda, according to the company’s Media Relations Manager, George Cazenove.
Tullow “absolutely” intends to stay the course in Uganda, Mr. Cazenove told Oil in Uganda in a telephone interview, adding that “arbitration in Washington will sort out” a dispute over Value Added Tax.
The remarks come in the context of what appeared to be a strategic shift in Tullow’s global portfolio, with renewed emphasis on exploration, as opposed to field development and production. Read More
Some MPs and NGOs “acting on behalf of foreign interests” are “trying to cripple and disorient the development of Uganda’s oil sector,” President Yoweri Museveni told parliament yesterday in a combative address that played strongly to nationalistic sentiment but also proclaimed “science” as the beacon of government policy on oil.
MPs Theodore Ssekikubo, Wilfred Nuwagaba and Abdu Katuntu were singled out for personal mention and attack in the two-hour presidential address. “What they are doing is an unforgivable sin. It is sacrilege. To stand here and use the forum of Parliament which I created for you, through sacrificing blood, is unacceptable” Mr. Museveni said of the small group of MPs who had voted against the government’s proposals for structuring and regulating the oil industry. Read More
International companies working Uganda’s oilfields expect to agree on a development plan with the government within the next few months, according to Loïc Laurandel, the General Manager of TOTAL Exploration and Production Uganda, but he emphasises that it will still be at least five years before oil can come on stream, and this will be “physically impossible” without substantial improvement to the entire stretch of road from Kenya’s port of Mombasa to the oil-bearing Hoima District in Western Uganda.
“We are meeting [government] regularly and we hope to get to compromise some time before Spring next year” Mr. Laurandel told Oil in Uganda in an exclusive interview. Read More
The African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) has awarded three Uganda journalists and recognised two others for their reporting on the oil and gas industry.
Patience Atuhaire from the Uganda Radio Network carried the broadcast category prize for her piece Will Ugandan technicians get oil jobs?, while the New Vision’s Gerald Tenywa won the print category for his article How prepared is NEMA for oil waste?
The Monitor’s Isaac Imaka was the overall runner-up. Read More
Uganda’s Petroleum (Exploration, Development, Production) Bill completed its stormy passage through parliament on December 7 when the Deputy Speaker finally brought the matter to a vote, after a fortnight of intense lobbying and extra-parliamentary debate on contentious clauses.
The controversial Clause 9, which gives control over exploration and production licensing to the minister in charge of petroleum, is retained in the final version of the bill, which also establishes a national oil company to advance the state’s commercial interests in the oil sector, and a Petroleum Authority as the industry regulator. Read More
President Yoweri Museveni’s struggle to assert his authority over ruling party MPs may finally bear fruit today as parliament moves yet again to vote on the controversial Clause 9 of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development, Production) Bill, after weeks of fractious debate and procedural impasse.
According to MPs, the president has himself been contacting them by telephone to muster support for re-introducing Clause 9, which gives the minister in charge of petroleum—and, in effect, the president himself—decisive powers to award and revoke exploration and production licenses.
It is not known whether these conversations include the offer of financial rewards for political obedience, but some political observers regard this as a characteristic feature of President Museveni’s recent rule. Read More
A defiant Parliament yesterday again refused to vote on the controversial Clause 9 of the Petroleum Bill it has been debating for the last month, but agreed to stand-over the clause for one more day to allow both sides to study a compromise position.
It emerged that Energy Minister, Hon. Irene Muloni, together with some key MPs from the ruling and opposition parties had met at length on Monday and agreed on a ‘win-win’ position to propose to the House. Read More