Thirty Ugandans who recently returned from Trinidad, where they received six months’ practical training to follow up on a two-year vocational course at the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba, now find themselves unemployed and uncertain how to find a foothold in Uganda’s nascent oil industry.
“At this age you can’t really stay home and depend on people again; it’s really hard,” says thirty year old Moses Arupei, who came back from the Caribbean oil and gas producing island with three globally recognised vocational qualifications, but has not been able to land a job. Read More
A book published this month by the Berlin-based Open Oil consultancy group aims to shine a light on the production sharing contracts—known in Uganda as production sharing agreements (PSAs)—that lie at the heart of the multi-trillion dollar global oil industry.
“Contract transparency is the next stage of the transparency movement” writes Open Oil founder, Johnny West, in a foreword to the book, which can be downloaded free of charge from the Open Oil website. Part of Mr. West’s foreword is re-published below. Read More
As Kenya prepares to become an East African oil producer, its Energy Minister has said that they plan to increase fees for oil companies operating in the country as more oil and gas is discovered.
Speaking at the inauguration of the East Africa Oil and Gas Summit in Nairobi on Tuesday, an optimistic Hon. Kiraitu Murungi noted that the government needs to cater for the interests of its people by raking in more revenues from the oil and gas industry to finance the provision of basic services. Read More
Updated, November 15, 2012, with exclusive interview added.
Speakers at an East Africa Oil and Gas Summit in Nairobi yesterday urged the region’s governments to cooperate and harmonise their plans for processing and transport infrastructure.
“We are not competing with Uganda,” the Managing Director of Kenya’s National Oil Corporation, Summaya Hassan Athmani, told delegates. “The challenge is to expand our thinking beyond national boundaries and to think about this as a regional issue.” Read More
Uganda’s roads are utterly inadequate to support the volume and weight of heavy equipment that will be needed for oil production, according to a senior manager in a major international logistics company that ships oil and gas rigs around the world. Read More
Everybody knows that oil is all about money for the companies, the contractors, the government, the speculators rushing to buy up land in Bunyoro . . . But if we re-phrase that thought as “It’s all about economics” it suddenly seems complicated and remote—something that non-economists struggle to understand. Yet, with parliament currently considering a Public Finance Bill that will make key decisions on oil revenue management, much wider public debate is needed over how Uganda’s share of the money should be spent and invested. The 3rd issue of Oil in Uganda’s quarterly, print newsletter, which is now rolling off the presses, tries to demystify the economics as a contribution to the debate. Here we re-publish one of the main articles from the newsletter, UGANDA’S OIL REVENUES: TEN KEY QUESTIONS Read More
An increase in reported cases of crop damage by elephants straying outside of Murchison Falls National Park is probably not due to oil exploration, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) country representative in Uganda, Dr. Alistair McNeilage.
But, he stresses, wildlife management challenges will certainly grow as companies put in the infrastructure needed to extract the oil.
“Lots of people have been saying that elephants are coming out of the park because they’ve been chased out by the oil,” McNeilage told Oil in Uganda. “But if you look at the areas they’re coming from, it’s mainly on the north east side [of the park]. Those elephants don’t seem to be the same ones that are in the areas [in the west of the park] where the oil activities have been going on.” Read More
Following widespread land wrangles in the oil-rich Albertine region, the Ministry of Lands has announced plans to resolve this through guidelines to aid in compensation of customary land owners.
“It is crucial at the moment since people’s rights are at stake and we have the responsibility of protecting the poor and their property. We therefore have to put in place guidelines to ensure that those big oil companies and investors have an arrangement to adhere to and operate within the laws,” Ministry spokesman, Dennis Obbo, told Oil in Uganda. Read More
By Angelo Izama
During the oil debate in November 2011, parliament was piqued by an incident in which a letter written to the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga in defense of Tullow Oil was presented on the floor by the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi before Kadaga could open hers. The sense that government and the oil companies are locked in a tight embrace, working hand in glove, explains the attitude of mistrust that ordinary MPs now feel.
In the last seven days, battle lines have been drawn. In a rather bizarre commentary made on the distance ordinary Ugandans feel from the process, an NGO alliance led by Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment invited all of Uganda’s 370 MPs to the lakeside resort of Munyonyo to debate amendments to the country’s proposed oil bills. Read More
Uganda should move carefully and without haste to develop its oil industry and wider economy. Well crafted laws, with institutional checks and balances, are essential to govern the commercial aspects. Revenues should be deposited overseas in hard currency accounts, with a portion saved for the future—because development cannot take place overnight, it needs to phased. Increased government spending should be tied to a comprehensive development plan. Environmental, health and safety issues should be governed by regional laws that bind international oil companies to the same standards they would have to apply in their countries of incorporation—because otherwise they ‘won’t take it seriously.’
So says Columbia University professor, scholar-activist and renowned extractives industries expert, Jenik Radon, who has been delivering a series of lectures at Makerere University. Oil in Uganda caught up with him as he packed his bags to return to storm-buffeted New York City. Read More